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African American Psychics, 
Healers & Visionaries t 

in /* African American Culture 

Company of Prophets describes the variety of past and present 
expression of African American intuitivrty . African Americans who 
possess defined extrasensory perception, spiritual awareness, and 
psychic ability discuss the nature of their gifts. 

Represented in the 121 persons surveyed are a range of life 
styles, economic and educational backgrounds, philosophical out 
looks, religious practices, and age groups. Exemplifying these are 
artists, teachers, housewives, children, irdnisters, activists, authors, 
and professional psychics. Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth, 
George Washington Carver, Mary Church Terrell, Howard Thur- 
man, and Richmond Barthe are examples of the historical and con 
temporary persons included. In an anecdotal framework, their ex 
periences are largely related via direct quotes from research sources 
or personal interview. The struggles they faced in growing up with 
special qualities, adjusting to their uniqueness, and handling the at 
tendant hardships and privileges are entailed. The subjects discuss 
their efforts to use their psychic faculties to improve conditions in 
life for themselves, their families, and society. 

Each chapter addresses a different attribute of intuitivity. The 
psychic faculties are explained and defined through the subjects' 
own descriptions. The reader is afforded an opportunity to assess 
and affirm parallel faculties in his or her own life, and also receives 
an overview of various facets of extrasensory perception in the 
context of the African American culture. The book educates 
additionally via metaphysical principles and philosophical con 
cepts from the subjects' perspectives. 

Company of Prophets features the author's prose-poetry 
reflective of her own psychic experiences. Several psychic teachers 
and the author briefly explore the significance of the ancient 
spiritual roots in African American culture. These roots reside in the 
mass consciousness of the black culture, and from their source exists 
a potential for generating a cleansing, and a major spiritual 
resurgence in the erouo consriousnpQQ of AfH/^a-n A -r 
133.8 N79C 

Noll, Joyce Elaine, 

Company of prophets 

African American 

About the Author 

One of seven children of African American parents who 
migrated north from Virginia in the 1930s, Joyce Elaine Noll grew up 
in East Harlem in New York City. She moved to the San Francisco 
Bay area in 1959 to complete undergraduate studies at San Francisco 
State University. In 1971, she received a Master's degree in social 
work at the University of California at Berkeley. As a social worker, 
she has counseled and provided varied supportive services through 
public agencies and hospitals. 

Since undergoing a period of intense spiritual distress nearly a 
quarter of a century ago, Joyce has been consciously working on 
gaining spiritual insight and understanding. She is a student of 
religious and metaphysical disciplines and has received and given 
counseling in self-development, through which she has gained 
personal knowledge of psychic phenomena. ^ 

Joyce is married to an educator who is also a metaphysical 
teacher and writer. In addition to writing, counseling, and creating 
stone sculptures, Joyce manages an active family life (she has two 
daughters, a son, three stepdaughters, and four stepgrandchildren). 

To Write to the Author 

We cannot guarantee that every letter written to the author can 
be answered, but all will be forwarded. Both the author and the 
publisher appreciate hearing from readers, learning of your 
enjoyment and benefit from this book. Llewellyn also publishes a 
bi-monthly news magazine with news and reviews of practical 
esoteric studies and articles helpful to the student, and some 
readers 7 questions and comments to the author may be answered 
through this magazine's columns if permission to do so is included 
in the original letter. The author sometimes participates in seminars 
and workshops, and dates and places are announced in The 
Llewellyn New Times. To write to the author, or to ask a question, 
write to: 

Joyce Elaine Noll 

P.O. Box 64383-583, St. Paul, MN 55164-0383, U.S.A. 

Please enclose a self-addressed, stamped envelope for reply, or $1.00 to cover costs. 


Preface xi 

Chapter One Children with Power 1 

Adults recount psychic experiences from childhood. Children 
describe psychic phenomena. 

Chapter Two-*- The Medium's Way 35 

Communicators link etheric-world and extradimensional entities 
with Earth. The work of individual spiritual ministers, Spiritualists, 
and channels. 

Chapter Three Ascetics, Ecstatics, and Seekers 57 

Men and women in spiritual transition and their mystical 

Chapter Four And Some Are Old Souls 97 

Reincarnated persons tell of former existences. 

Chapter Five Gifted in Physical Healing 113 

Psychic healers assist the physically ill. 

Chapter Six Expelling Negative Spirits 145 

Individuals who invoke spiritual and psychic powers to displace 
discarnate beings and their influences. 

Chapter Seven Astral Projection 155 

Travelers out-of-body and in extraphyscial dimension. 

Chapter Eight by Way of Rites 169 

Performers of ceremonies to enhance spiritual, emotional, and 
physical well-being. Interpreters of symbols, Tarot, crystals, 
astrology, numerology and other physical means. 

Chapter Nine Legacy of Second Sight 185 

Families endowed with psychic gifts. Those born with the physical 
signs of seership. 

Chapter Ten Diversities of Gifts 203 

Psychics as teachers. The many and varied manifestations of spirit 
and psychism. 

Bibliography, Notes, & Credits 257 

After that, thou shall come to the hill of God . . . and it 
shall come to pass, when thou art come thither to the city, that 
thou shall meel a company of prophets coming down from the 

high place And the spirit of the Lord will come upon thee, 

and thou shall prophesy with them, and shall be turned into 
another man. And let it be, when these signs are come unto 
thee, that thou do as occasion serve Ihee; for God is with 

And it was so, that, when he had turned his back to go 
from Samuel, God gave him another heart; and all those signs 
came to pass that day. 

And when they came thither to the hill, behold, a com 
pany of prophets met him-, and the Spirit of God came upon 

Samuel, Chapter 10, Verses 5-10 
The Old Testament 


Four o'clock in the morning. The hour of God, but also a time of 
vulnerability. Along some routes, this is a favorite hour to clean 
buses. Roused from sleep, we stumbled down into the darkness. 
Half formed. So wispy our connections to our bodies, so in our own 
universes, that we were the dotted figures in childhood activity 
books. Lacking the proper lines to impinge as real. 

My journey to gather material for this book was made mostly 
by bus. It was the way in which I could best afford to travel, and it 
was certainly the only direct passage to many places. I made four 
cross-country trips. 

Bus-riding was familiar enough to me. As a child, I rode south 
bound buses from Harlem for more than a decade to visit my grand 
parents in Virginia. Once through the Holland Tunnel, manmade 
structures gave way to the wonder of the non-concrete, to flowing 
space at eye-level. It seemed to me, Space spread in all directions in 
an absoluteness. Blending in were stands of trees, cornfields, farm 
buildings and small towns, not violating Space with their presence. 

My joy, too, was in feasting from what seemed a bottomless 
shoe box. Packed with a wonderful assortment of picnic goodies by 
my mother. And there was singing. Hour after hour, my two sisters, 
cousin, other young passengers and I sang the "hit tunes" of the day, 
with the driver and adult passengers indulging us at least most of 
the time. Those memories all had their part in strengthening my de 
cision to travel by bus. 

Pilgrims, as travelers used to be called, would often receive a 
benediction prior to their setting out. I always got a good sendoff 


xii Company of Prophets 

from my husband and children. But in El Paso, on my third trip out, 
during midday rest stop, I crossed over to the convention center, in 
explicably drawn to it. 

Seizing, I thought, an opportunity to be apart from the chaotic 
current that mobilizes a bus station, I hurried toward the restroom, 
ostensibly to wash away road grime before doing a quick tour of the 
center's art gallery. A group of five women was already there in the 
ladies lounge, and I exchanged greetings with them. Upon learning 
of the nature of my trip and the subject matter of my intended book, 
they showed sudden spiritual excitement. They spontaneously 
formed a prayer circle with me; and there, in that improbable loca 
tion for an appeal for divine intervention, the bathing and toileting 
facilities of a Texas convention center, I received their blessings and 
good wishes for a safe trip and a successful project. I left El Paso feel 
ing restored, and well enough that I should: they were part of a 
southwestern Charismatic Catholic convention! 

The bus and its stations usually served as my main hotel ac 
commodations. I would draw as many interviews from a town as 
possible, and then rush for the evening bus. But after two or three 
nights of sleeping on buses, I needed abed and full bathing facilities. 
I usually stayed in hostels, and they in their many regional vari 
ations proved to be secure places. College dormitories were greatly 
sought by me for lodging, but they were seldom available; most col 
leges seemed to have problems accommodating their own student 
bodies, let alone mine. 

I was fortunate in being able to arrange for quarters at Fisk Uni 
versity, in the same building where the Jubilee Singers had lived. As 
the only person lodged on the top floor of that old building, I 
thought I might have an encounter with one or more of those es 
teemed, historical, although deceased, performers. But even my 
sleep was dreamless, and interrupted only by a coed coming up 
stairs to use the hall telephone. 

The individuals whose stories I heard and read, during these 
travels and in my research, are adherents of many different religious 
faiths, belief systems, and practices. They have a variety of lifestyles, 
and come from diverse socio-economic and educational back 
grounds. But in common, they have these characteristics: identity 
within the African American culture, native-born United States citi 
zenship status, and substantial and definitive psychic abilities. 

Very little information is available concerning this particular 

Preface xiii 

population, those United States-born African Americans having ex 
trasensory perception. The existing data are scattered mostly 
through magazines and newspapers. This book is an effort to pro 
vide a more comprehensive and focused view. 

My main intent in writing Company of Prophets is to provide 
overdue acknowledgment to a group of people who have essentially 
been ignored. 

I began my search in the fall of 1983. With an Interstate USA bus 
pass, a few referrals and leads, I headed away from home and Cali 
fornia. In my search, in addition to finding opportunities to inter 
view contemporary individuals, I hoped to unearth historical mate 
rial on that population as well. The material for this book was gath 
ered from personal and telephone interviews, books, newspaper 
and magazine articles. 

There were heartening occurrences during my travels. Conver 
sations overheard in the most unconnected of places resulted in an 
enrichment of my store of information, and in one instance led to a 
significant interview. A book randomly pulled from a library shelf, 
on several occasions, presented a new personality, or provided the 
basis for a sketched image suddenly to become defined and 

However, a number of disappointments are sorely remem 
bered. I missed people whom I had traveled several days to see; our 
signals were misunderstood. There were also prospective inter 
viewees who couldn't comprehend what I was doing, or feared for 
their privacy, and so declined interviewing. Fortunately, these were 
very few in number. 

The warm reception, the hospitality, the encouragement and 
blessings bestowed upon me across the country by other African 
Americans in telling their stories to this stranger constitute the crea 
tion of a most singular lifetime experience. Not forgotten, either, is 
the generosity of resource people. A number of individuals around 
the country, both black and white, freely shared information, their 
own research materials, and sometimes their homes with me. 

The range of testimonies includes those of psychic counselors, 
historical figures, religious recluses, artists, children, and people of 
varying professions and disciplines. 

The individuals whom I interviewed all believed in a Supreme 
Spirit consciousness. Many followed traditional Western religions. 
Others studied the teachings of the East, and yet others belonged to 

xiv Company of Prophets 

New Age religions and groups. 

People of both religious and secular communities are pre 
sented here in a sequence of my own creation, without reference to 
any hierarchical evaluation, in terms of their station in life or state of 
being. This sequence is based solely upon carrying along a continu 
ity of interest and description. 

Following a necessity for some form of guidelines and parame 
ters, I have omitted charismatic religious leaders, who may have or 
had psychic abilities; their inclusion would have opened too wide a 
range for the particular purposes of this book. There seems to be am 
ple material on many of these individuals already in circulation, 
continuously being made available. 

That an individual is mentioned more than once is not indica 
tive that his or her abilities have greater quality or significance. Mul 
tiple inclusions reflect, rather, the person having a breadth and di 
versity of attributes which would be of interest to the general reader. 
Furthermore, the book is arranged, not by individual identities, but 
by abilities, under which system an individual may be presented in 
more than a few sections. 

In terms of attitudes toward the material world held by people 
included in the book, I found a broad range of considerations re 
garding the acquisition and holding of worldly wealth. Some inter 
viewed were quite intent upon creating a balance between the mate 
rial and the spiritual. Others had little or no interest in the area of 
economics, beyond how to survive in the world and in physical 
body while they continued their work. 

I had a set of questions, fairly basic ones, to use for the inter 
viewing process. They were often answered before I could express 
them. Of specific interest to me was how individuals were using 
their gifts, such as whether they sought to realize goals through their 
supernormal powers, extending beyond desires for self-enhance 
ment alone. Throughout interviews and research, I found that the 
desire to help others held strongly in this group. Many spoke of their 
struggles to articulate their gifts meaningfully into service for hu 
mankind. There were those, too, who believed they could not use 
their abilities for themselves at all, that their gifts would vanish if 
they were in any way to profit from them. 

As general terms, "abilities," "gifts," "power," "talent," "spiri 
tual gifts," and "psychic gifts," all refer to extrasensory perception 
qualities. They also allude to those invisible channels of thought and 

Preface xv 

spirit by which human beings can exercise an apparent power to af 
fect physical matter, time, and space and the minds of others. They 
are used interchangeably throughout this book. 

The marked and deep intuitivity in the African American cul 
ture has long been generally known and implied through writings. 
Much of what has been written has concentrated on the mysticism 
and psychism of black people in Africa and the Caribbean. This book 
is one person's survey and view on the subject of U.S.-born blacks 
with advanced psychic abilities. 

This writing is only intended as a descriptive, and not an all- 
inclusive, effort. I only interviewed a small percentage of this popu 
lation, and I undoubtedly missed a number of people whom readers 
may believe should have been included. I sincerely regret such 

I was fortunate in this project. Interviews and research were 
sometimes such intense being-to-being experiences that they af 
fected my spiritual outlook profoundly. From these contacts, new 
realizations about myself and about existence surfaced in a greatly 
accelerated manner, leaving me breathless in their impacting clarity. 
Stirred from a long-held stance of wooden wondering and hesita 
tion, I was inspired to move with greater resolution into fully im 
mersing myself into living, as myself. 

Company of Prophets is a compilation from the personal experi 
ences of individuals exemplifying the ways that intuitivity and the 
power of spirit manifest through native-born African Americans. 

I had wandered among my own people, to tap not the genetic 
roots, but the spiritual roots of the collective spiritual consciousness of 
my race; and as an unexpected consequence, I received healing 
through the power of that assembled and unified spirituality. 

Joyce E. Noll 
Oakland, California 

July-August suns, Summer, 

I touch, taste, smell, hear, see, command! 

Part of All, 

of the Indivisible Totality. 

All of All, I am the Sole Reality. 


untainted by Self-Doubt, 

wholly whole. 

I, the scrawny, dark-brown girl clad in yellow, 

caterpillar-striped swimsuit, 

sweaty-hot, restless, sand-gritty, 

follow the Right-Hand Path to the Ocean, 

propelled by cool winds at my elbows, knees, 

inebriated with Sacred Curiosity. 

My back to the world of the red-checkered tablecloth 

anchored by the wicker hamper laden with fried chicken, 

potato salad, watermelon pickles, cherries, punch and cookies. 

Escaping my mother's vigilant eyes, I renounce Security and 

distance myself from the Known. 

The surfs vibration draws, soothes me. 

The ocean explodes as we meet, and I am anointed. 

The waves, though forbidden to snatch me seaward, 

spray, sting, roll, strangle, suck me under. 

Arising undaunted I use my swimsuit to gather treasures 

beamed up from the Deep at my bidding. 

I am Warrioress, I am Initiant! 


Children with Power 

In the lives of children who have advanced psychic abilities, 
there is a profound turning point of a kind. Sometime, when either 
fully or partially aware, they determine whether they can tolerate 
their unique abilities. They can resolve to sustain and use the gifts as 
best they can or, when the ability is seen as "diseased" by self or oth 
ers, the child can resort to doing all manner of things to make the 
"disability" vanish. 

A child, bent on being free of his or her attributes, removes an 
integral part of self, and in that way withdraws from vital aspects of 
psychic-spiritual existence. The effort to cancel the gift may subtract 
from normal senses as well, and will suppress the child's overall 

In discussing the topic of supernormal abilities in childhood, in 
both interview and other settings, a number of individuals stated 
that when it became obvious to them as children that they had a psy 
chic gift, they prayed to God to take it away. Or they fought the gift. 
Some of the reasons given were: they were frightened by the phe 
nomena of the gift; it brought unbearable isolation from others; it ran 
against familial or peer belief systems; they feared the power it gave 
them, and the power the ability might wield back against them. It 
was often seen as mysteriously dangerous. In several cases, it was 
too difficult for the young person to gather the courage needed to 
maintain the co-existence and exercise of the ability in the face of 
even mild opposition. 

Regarding the gift as harmful, the child would seek release and 
relief through his or her efforts to eradicate or abandon the gift. 

2 Company of Prophets 

Some prayed; others pretended it didn't exist; others ignored it- 
some disowned it. 

In contrast, a psychic child may be quite aware of his or her 
life's mission connected with the possession of an extraphysical abil 
ity. At an early stage in childhood, such a being may confidently pre 
pare for the actualization of the ability and the goal. That child 
would be immune to outside influences, standing his or her ground 
with enormous integrity. 

With a child who has supernormal attributes there is always an 
attendant vulnerability from the conservative orientations of other 
people. The fragility of the child's own world of psychic realities is 
pitted against the monolinear physical perspectives of some adults 
who use adherence to material reality as a guise of absolute power, 
and those adults who are "all-knowing," and who effect a strict en 
forcement and obedience to their constricted belief systems. Such 
adults create an interpositioning of barriers to the child's recogni 
tion, acceptance, and utilization of his or her gifts. 

The black psychic child's struggle to incorporate the Truth of 
his or her own expanded universe into life is further complicated by 
specific traces of contracting negative energy in the collective spiri 
tual consciousness of society. Largely in the past, but even now, 
within the national collective consciousness, this negativity has 
been generated; it surfaces as inclinations to minimize, distort, or de 
stroy self-confidence regarding the most ordinary of capabilities 
that any member of the African American culture might possess. 

Such persisting consciousness, in a mental dimension, created 
by the collective negative energies of our nation in the course of its 
history, constitutes a stagnant repository of centuries-old prejudg- 
mental and attitudinal programming of a racial nature. Although 
this negative influence lies unperceived from any body orientation, 
it can still fully impact upon the physical dimension. Reflexively, it 
activates a negative psychic programming, in most on an uncon 
scious level, to oppose any African Americans including chil 
dren exhibiting remarkable qualities. These energies of mental op 
position and invalidation can be extremely subtle, but a child in the 
early stages of psychic revelation is sensitive to them as to any sub 
stantive, prevailing energies. 

The African American psychic child's awareness thus becomes 
dispersed in trying to sort out and identify the many opposing fac 
tors in the basically materially oriented society in which he or she 

Children with Power 3 

lives. Even more telling can be the opposition from closer in, com 
mon to all psychic children, that comes from the valued affinities of 
parents, family, friends, or from the religion which he or she inher 

The effects created by these adversities can be reduced by the 
child's drawing upon the positive energies of the collective spiritual 
consciousness of the black race, which safeguards and balances 
group members who can resonate at its vibratory frequency. Im 
parted from the group soul to the consciousness of the child are the 
original group's African beliefs and acceptances of intuition, of su 
pernormal qualities, and the range of psychic and mystical states of 
being. The race spirit affirms those qualities. It states out of its own 
traditions their ascendancy to any transplanted conditions or states, 
founded culturally or scientifically, imposed and arbitrarily placed 
by authorities in the material world. 

Through that collective spiritual consciousness of the black 
race, tribute is imparted to those beings possessing spiritual or psy 
chic gifts, no matter whether their bodies identify them as adult or as 

Shortly before she first prophesied, Jenny Benson, then eight 
years old, was outside playing in the yard. All at once she ran in 
doors with a message for her grandmother. 

" 'Mama/ 1 said, 'Aunt Mahalia is dead!' 

"She said, 'Oh, my God, who told you?!' 

"I said, 'Something told me.' 

"She hauled off and hit me upside the head. Pow! 'What did 
you tell that lie for?' " 

In a while, one of Jenny's cousins came by on a horse. As he ap 
proached, he called out to her grandmother, "Cousin Nance, I 
stopped by to tell you Aunt Mahalia is dead." 

"My grandmother asked when, and it was just the time I told 

But there was no apology forthcoming to the girl for delivering 
authenticated spirit-prompted messages, or for the blow that punc 
tuated the prophesy. "They thought I was crazy. I had to be deter 
mined. My grandmother said I wasn't going to live long, I 

4 Company of Prophets 

was too peculiar. I got a backhand lick for telling the truth. It didn't 

stop me! 

"When I was born there was no such thing as birth control 
pills not in the country of Mississippi. My mother was pregnant 
but one time, and that was with me. She prayed to God to close 
up her womb. I never stayed with my mother; but while she was 
with me, she said I was very peculiar. I stayed with my grandpar 

Though unappreciated by adults in those early years, she con 
fides how her playmates waited eagerly to hear her pronounce 
ments. "They would ask me questions, and I would say, Tonight, I 
am going to talk to the Lord. What He tells me, I am going to tell 
you/ " Her friends accepted Jenny's prophetic messages and always 
seemed satisfied with what she said. 

She was but eight years old when the inward voice she hears 
told of her destiny. "The Lord told me I would be in Nashville, Ten 
nessee, and of the good works I would do for him." 

Three gifts have been realized since childhood by Jenny Benson 
Vaughn the gifts of prophesy, preaching, and healing. Residing in 
Nashville, Tennessee, she is the minister of St. Teresa Holiness Sci 
ence Church and holds ministerial positions in several churches in 
other states. Most of these churches she helped found. 

Henry was bouncing in and out of his body after his tonsils 
were removed. It started as he came from under the anesthesia. See 
ing his body from different locations in the hospital room, and being 
acutely aware that he was yet in another space at distance from his 
body caused the eight year old to feel alarmed and insecure. He 
tried to tell the nurse what was happening, but she didn't seem to 
hear him. That night he attempted to anchor himself by concentrat 
ing, but he would involuntarily relax and end up somewhere else in 
the room, again viewing his prostrate body. He battled all night but 
was unable to keep spirit, mind, and body in the same place. 

The experience brought a marked change into the Southside 
Chicago boy's life. He now felt a depth of uncertainty and loss. That 
which had been real to him before, and in agreement with every 
body else he knew, was undone. From then on he heard voices and 

Children with Power 5 

saw pictures projected in his head. He was often the awed and un 
willing receiver of the transmitted thoughts and emotions of others. 
People's faces changed as he looked at them; their past lives' facial 
features opened to his view. Even while he was in a schoolroom, he 
traveled out of his body in astral flight, to the detriment of his aca 
demic performance. 

An inner voice emerged. He learned from the voice; but he was 
upset by its presence in his universe. Henry was ashamed and em 
barrassed about his newly extended perceptions. This facet of him 
self was further inhibited after he offered to help a disabled man, 
through his young healing gift, and was rejected. The man's wife 
firmly told Henry not to bother them with that "nonsense." 

Concern over being singled out as a "kook" or classified as in 
sane prompted Henry to keep his impressions contained, so that the 
boundaries of that inner world never flowed over into his social life. 
Persistently he monitored himself in this manner, thus succeeding at 
being a "normal person" during his childhood and into early man 

It took many years for Henry Rucker to openly accept his psy 
chic talents. When he did, the inner voice instructed him around his 
primary gift, psychic healing, which in childhood he had repressed 
into a state of limbo. 

"Between ten and twelve, I could tell in advance when some 
thing was going to happen. If I wanted someone to do something, I 
would send them a thought, or I would send a thought not to do 

"At that time, I was a mean, hateful child. My energy was 
strong. I could project it to hurt a person and I knew I could/ 7 recalls 
Jessica Marshall. 

Separated from her mother and native Louisiana at seven years 
old, she and her older sister were transported to Oakland to live with 
their father and his new wife. The move was traumatic for Jessica 
who changed from a good-natured child to a sullen one. "I was an 
gry with my father and stepmother. 

"I never got into fights. I could see things happening to friends 
and I would tell them, but they didn't like it. So I stopped telling 

6 Company of Prophets 


Jessica became a loner with only one or two friends. "I learned 
to play by myself. I couldn't take crowds for some reason or other. 
But I loved sports and was captain of a team. I had leadership abili 

In this period the family moved to Los Angeles. Her father, 
whom she calls "adventuresome/' presented his children with 
many creative challenges. "I was often plagued by being the only 
black. My father wanted us to be aware of everything. He wanted us 
to be around and familiar with different cultures and different relig 
ions. He wanted us to understand that people were only people re 
gardless of color. That we are all one. 

"My gift was a knowing, but I didn't know how I knew. I could 
always see something before it happened. I thought everyone could. 
I was fourteen when I found out that everyone couldn't/' 

For a year after she died, Bob's aunt appeared to him, from time 
to time, in his family's kitchen. He was then seven or eight. Another 
spirit, a guide, had come shortly after the death to help him. 

"I missed a lot of unpleasant things by following what the Spirit 
told me," Bob now says, looking back. 

The guide directed him not to go down certain streets, saving 
him from encounters with bullies and loose dogs. He became able to 
control dogs which dashed toward him. When they came within a 
hairsbreadth, they could advance no more, and he could walk away. 

He was so well-oriented by the Spirit that he never got lost in all 
of his childhood meanderings; first through the streets of Memphis, 
and later through the streets of Chicago. That other children or 
adults could get lost mystified him. 

Now an adult whose occupation is in sales, Bob Edwards lives 
in Los Angeles. His psychometric gift is strong. He picks up vibra 
tions from an individual's possessions, and receives mental pictures 
of that individual's current circumstances. In his psychic work, he 
finds lost articles, animals, and people. He is assisted in his readings 
by his inner voice and a male spirit guide. 

Children with Power 7 

Almost fifty years later, Dorothy Hall still tells this story. She 
fervently insists even today that she knew nothing about the out 
come of a prediction spoken through her teenage body, except that it 
was revealed through an inner voice and vision. 

'There was a girl at school, Clara, a kind of fast kid. She used to 
pick at me all the time. Her desk was behind mine. One day she hit 
me on the shoulder. 

" 'Dot, you know what? I'm going to a party tomorrow night. 
Me and my friends. And I know you wish you could go. I know you 
wish you could go, and I know you can't go because your mama 
don't let you go nowhere except to school and back home/ 

"She was picking on me like that, trying to make me feel real 
bad. I just sat there and looked at her. All of a sudden I could see this 
blood coming out of her face. At the same time a voice was telling 

'"Tell her, don't go! 7 

"I had to say, 'Clara, don't go to the party!' " 

At Dorothy's entreaty, Clara's tactics changed from razzing to 
railing. "You can't tell me what to do! And you sure ain't my 

Impelled by the voice, Dorothy continued, "If you go to that 
party, I see you getting hurt." Unnerved, Clara laughed uneasily 
and walked away with her friends. 

"That girl is crazy," Dorothy heard her say as they left the class 

Three days later, Dorothy's teacher sent her to the principal. A 
detective and police officer were there with him. 

"The principal asked me what I had said to Clara on Friday and 
I told him." The confused and frightened thirteen year old struggled 
to tell why she said Clara shouldn't go. She was not yet familiar with 
the language pertaining to psychic phenomena, so all she could say 
is "something" told her to give the message. 

Reproachfully, the principal disclosed that Clara was in the 
hospital. At the party, someone had cut her with a razor. The consen 
sus among the adults was that Dorothy knew something about it. 
Denounced as uncooperative, Dorothy was suspended from school, 
only to be readmitted after the bishop of her church intervened. She 
remained a student for one more year, leaving when she reached the 
eighth grade. 

"The bishop told them they'd better not expel me no more, and 

8 Company of Prophets 

they didn't. But they would watch me in a peculiar way. I felt 
'funny 7 , so I quit and took a 'place on the job 7 , staying in with white 

Prophesying was Dorothy's strongest childhood gift. But re 
laying prophetic communication from the spirit world had caused 
her upsets prior to the incident at school, and would cause upsets in 
the future. Nevertheless, the Chicago girl was often moved to share 
spiritual pronouncements with others in her well-intentioned but 
blunt way. 

At home there was a constant collision of wills between 
Dorothy and her mother over the girl's prophesying. Her mother, a 
member of the Methodist church, urged Dorothy to stop the "non 
sense" through verbal and physical reprimand. Intent upon helping 
and despite harsh punishment, Dorothy continued to relay un 
wanted messages to the disapproving parent all through her child 

An only child, Dorothy was the survivor of a set of twin girls. 
In looking back on her share of childhood camaraderie she com 
ments, "I mostly stayed to myself. I didn't have no sisters, no broth 
ers, no nothing. I wanted to play with kids, but they didn't want to 
play with me. They acted 'funny 7 with me, so I just stayed 
to myself." 

But one friendship from childhood she can recall a secret one. 
Soon after she moved to a new home with her mother and stepfa 
ther, Dorothy met a white man. 

"Every night at twelve o'clock this man would come through 
the back door and get me out of bed. He would be dressed in a tux 
edo with a white shirt, black bow tie, and a tall black hat. He would 
take me by the hand to the backyard and set me in the swing my 
stepdaddy made for me. I would go with him because I thought he 
was human. He would talk to me. He told me he had a lot of money 
but not to tell nobody. I was about nine years old at the time and I 
said I wouldn't tell. He made me promise. I'm thinking he's human 
because he looks human. I didn't know he was a spirit. He told me 
the money was right beneath where I was swinging, in a tin box, and 
that it was for me and nobody else. 

"My mother got up one night, and she had to go right by my 
room to get to the bathroom, and she missed me. I wasn't in the bed. I 
could hear her calling my name, but I couldn't answer. 

"Finally when I come to myself, I said, 'Mama, I'm out here 

Children with Power 9 

with . . . ' When I said 'with', I looked around and there wasn't a soul 
out there. 

"So my mother took me in and beat me, because she thought I 
was just out in the backyard at three o'clock in the morning. Oh, how 
she whipped me. 

" 'Mama, I wasn't out there by myself, the man was out there 
with me/ She sure enough whipped me then. So I had to tell her. I 
had to break my vow. So I told her about the money under the 

Dorothy's stepfather and a few friends dug under the swing to 
search for the money. They struck the box at the place pointed out by 
Dorothy, but as they reached for it, the surrounding earth collapsed 
and the box sank. A fear-inducing aura permeated the excavated 
area, disturbing Dorothy's stepfather so much that shortly thereaf 
ter he moved the family again. 

Ordained in a Spiritual church at fourteen, with her gift being 
fully recognized, Dorothy prophesied from the pulpit. Of that pe 
riod in her life, Dorothy observes, "I was at church more than at 

The minister of a Spiritual church, counselor and healer, 
Dorothy Hall lives in Chicago where she was born. 

Alpha, the first of nine children, was raised from "Day One" by 
her maternal grandmother, as she says it. Her mother was still in col 
lege, and the birth was a difficult one. Delivered prematurely, Alpha 
entered life with bronchitis, and a film of tissue, called a veil, cover 
ing her head. 

Her grandmother was an influential force in her life whom Al 
pha studied closely. Although the older woman had not gone be 
yond the third grade in formal schooling, she worked intensely with 
her grandchild around studies. By five years old, Alpha could write 
a business letter, redone under her grandmother's tutelage, until a 
certain level of perfection was reached. 

Heartened by the relationship she shared with her grand 
mother, the girl was inspired to seek out the companionship of eld 
erly people. Then, too, she was a child who didn't care for games 
much at all because "they were win or lose," as she summarizes it. 

10 Company of Prophets 

Her psychic self seems to have always been active in childhood; 
but in growing up, she recalls tending to push back that aspect of 
herself. Although none of those early intuitive experiences stands 
out, she remembers that as a child sometimes her head would seem 
to open up with information flowing in, and that she would smell 
flowers in the most unlikely situations. There were also her abilities 
to see ghosts, and to smell death. 

Alpha Omega, born in Aldrich, Alabama, is a long-time resi 
dent of New York City. She is a teacher, lecturer, and healer. 

More than once when sickness kept him home from school, Lee 
felt himself being observed by the figure. In front of his bed, gazing 
upon him, with piercing and loving eyes, was a monk, resembling 
St. Francis. 

Not frightened, the boy absorbed the love. He needed it. In his 
physical life, love was marked by its inadequacy. He was a lone 
child, raised by a mother who expressed her unknown guilt to him 
in anger and blows. 

Lee was an adult when he described his unhappy childhood to 
Ruth Montgomery, who wrote of him in Threshold to Tomorrow. In 
the accounting, he spoke of his mother's physical and emotional 
abuse of him. She was protective, however, and provided well for 
his physical needs. Four half-siblings older than he, whom he never 
saw during childhood, were legally removed from her custody. She 
had abused them, too. His father, whom he saw on a few occasions, 
he never really got to know. 

To others, Lee was a likable child, bright and talented, a self- 
taught musician who was playing the piano when he was three. He 
had learned on a toy piano. He practiced wherever he could, having 
no piano at home. In a visit to a rest home when he was twelve or 
thirteen, Lee practiced on the piano there. Soon heard was a scooting 
sound and in turning his head, he saw the elderly residents drag 
folding chairs near to listen to him. They flooded him with admira 
tion, and he loved them back. During the years of grammar and jun 
ior high school, the boy regularly visited rest homes and convales 
cent hospitals even after he obtained his own piano. 

Ruth Montgomery's spirit guides call Lee a "Walk-in." "Walk- 

Children with Power 11 

ins are idealistic but not perfected souls, who through spiritual 
growth in previous incarnations, have earned the right to take over 
unwanted bodies, if their overriding goal is to help mankind. The 
original occupants vacate the bodies because they no longer can 
maintain the physical spark of life, or because they are so dispirited 
that they earnestly wish to leave/' 1 

Lee William Carnett, Jr. changed his name to Count Carnette in 
adulthood. He contends he is not aware of that transition taking 
place. But being a Walk-in explains to him much about that early pe 
riod of his life. 

After the revelation from Montgomery's guides, Carnette was 
told again that he was a Walk-in by a discarnate named Dr. Callaeo. 
In direct-voice channeled through Carnette himself, the being told 
of how the transition was made when Carnette was less than ten 
years old. 

From Dr. Callaeo's reading, as reported in Montgomery's 
book: "It was one of the rare cases of a Walk-in entering the body of a 
child, but it was necessary, because the boy was on the verge of a 
nervous breakdown or suicide/' 

A concert pianist, composer, and vocalist who performs intui 
tively, having no professional training, Count Carnette resides in Se 
attle, Washington where he was born. Performing traditional music 
and a type of music he describes as "psychic," he tours the country 
giving recitals. 

From material in one of his record albums the following quote 
is taken: "I plan to work earnestly and faithfully as a Worker of 
Light; a blessing to those who would let music speak to them. My 
conviction is that the heavenly vibrations flowing through this mu 
sic have the power to heal the sick, put an end to wars, and once 
again bring about peace and harmony to our planet, Earth." 2 

The two children were playing "Ring-around-the-Rosie" when 
Louise saw them from her grandparents' verandah. They were 
about her age, seven years old. The girl was prettily attired in a white 
dress with ruffles to the tail; the boy's outfit was white, too. He wore 
a whole suit with a wide-collared shirt, Louise still recalls vividly. 

She saw they were really having a good time, and she became 

12 Company of Prophets 

excited at the thought of joining their game. But her grandmother, 
stepping out of the house at Louise's call for permission to play, re 
sponded with a gentle but firm "no." Seating herself beside Louise, 
she drew her close. 

"The children are not real," she explained. 

She, herself, could not see them. She reminded her grandchild 
that seeing into the world of spirit was the young one's own special 
gift. Like her other gift, which was to know of things beforehand. 

The two black children clad in finery, and seeming so full of 
happiness in their games on the adjacent cemetery green, were not 
the first discarnates Louise had seen. But they were certainly among 
the first to impact upon her so strongly. Long before she was seven, 
the spirit world opened to Louise. Her ability to predict had come 
earlier. "Forerunner" was a nickname given her by her grandfather, 
who was proud of her abilities. 

Louise Washington is a licentiate minister and certified me 
dium in the National Spiritualist Association of Churches. Her 
church, the Tucker Smith Memorial Spiritualist Church, is in Chi 
cago. She grew up in Walterboro, South Carolina. 

"It was a regular thing, that most of us kids would walk home 
to lunch, and there was always a train, boxcars, standing on the 
tracks near the school. We'd crawl under it or over it to get to our 
houses for lunch," remembers Calestine Williams of being a fifth 

"On this particular day, I was puzzled at strong feelings that 
the train meant danger. I warned everybody I could not to go near. 
Some of us did not go home at all for lunch, the feeling was so strong. 
Some of the kids were not convinced, though. The train began to 
move, and one boy was cut in two." 

Without self-doubt, Calestine acted on these intuitive mes 
sages of danger. 

Another incident involved a bridge which she and the rest of 
the neighborhood children either crossed or played on every day. It 
spanned a deep ditch where the water level would get high enough 
for someone to drown. 

"One morning/ 7 she mentions, "a feeling began to bother me 

Children with Power 13 

that there was danger. I went to the store in the neighborhood and 
got some white wrapping paper and penciled in, 'Don't play on the 
bridge/ 1 posted the sign. That evening the bridge collapsed. No one 
was on it, but there were some dogs on it, and they ended up in the 
water/ 7 

Forming within Calestine, when she was but six, was a sensitiv 
ity about people and houses. Emanating from people she perceived 
an energy which clearly told her of their emotions and attitudes. Of 
houses and geographical areas, she could sense whether they would 
be good places in which to live. 

At ten, hysterical, she told her mother and stepfather every 
thing she felt about the house they planned to buy. It would not be a 
good home or good investment, she advised. But they didn't listen. 
The house became a place of terrible family conflict once they moved 
in. Its function for the family unit was finally destroyed when Cales- 
tine's stepfather declared himself sole owner of it and evicted the 
rest of the family. 

Mostly burdened by her gift while growing up, the Mississippi- 
born psychic, who now lives in Memphis, Tennessee, says in those 
early years she played the comedienne to mask that she felt differ 

The girl's mother, perplexed by her young child's unusual per 
ception, often questioned the validity of what was sensed. But from 
her grandmother, Calestine received the strong reassuring message, 
"God is speaking to us through you." 

Hurt by a blow to his head in a schoolyard accident, six-year- 
old Ron was transformed. Thereafter, he was subjected to small epi 
leptic seizures. At first the attacks came daily, but their frequency 
lessened as he grew into his teens. Affected, he went inward, became 
meditative and a "loner," as he describes it. 

But flung open was the door to a new world. Scenes unfolded to 
him as if he were watching television. At thirteen, in a vision, he saw 
the house he and his wife presently own. Initially, most of his visions 
were about himself, but gradually he began to see future informa 
tion about family members. 

Almost immediately following the accident, his dreams 

14 Company of Prophets 

changed. To the six year old, some of the contents of his new dreams 
were very strange; however, in time, many proved prophetic. 

Visible to him when he looked at the sky were Indian chiefs rid 
ing across its expanse. Their presence was somehow very reassuring 
to the boy. At the phase of the full moon, while he watched the sky, 
he saw images of the future. Later in his life, he experienced these 
predictions as they were manifested. 

A prime target for "bullies/ 7 Ron avoided them with his sensi 
tivity. Through his body came a signal when a bully or other danger 
was near. His hair stood up on the back of his neck. 

There was further acceleration of his awareness after he again 
was knocked unconscious in an accident at age twelve. He started 
experimenting with telepathy. He sent out thoughts of love and har 
mony. His parents became discordant with one another; wanting to 
keep the family together, he directed strong thoughts of love and 
reconciliation toward them. The relationship between his parents 
improved, as did their home life. 

Ron was fourteen when he saw a "wolfman" movie with a 
Tarot card reader in it. "I felt I was shown about the cards because 
they are a deep well to relate from/' he asserts. 

Shortly after seeing the movie, he joined a metaphysical book 
club and secured books on the Tarot. In libraries and bookstores, he 
determined what he should read by running his hands along the 
shelves of books until he felt heat on his hands. The heat-generating 
book was selected. 

With his mother Ron shared freely his precognitions, and she 
told of some of her own psychic experiences. However, the child 
never told anyone when he foresaw death. He felt intuitively that it 
was not the right thing to do. At school, he learned from experience 
that if he spoke of his visions there, he would be taken to the nurse's 

In a reading, Ron was told he was an advanced and able psy 
chic being, an Adept, in a past life. But at that time he had been over 
powered by magicians of evil intent. 

Using his gifts, Ron relates how he found Sandra, his second 
wife and soul mate, who early in her life became aware of her spiri 
tual self. Together they are raising their child, and Sandra's child 
from a previous marriage, to know themselves as spiritual beings. 
Both children are gifted. 

A resident of Los Angeles, Ron Bonner uses Tarot cards to give 

Children with Power 15 

consultations. He emphasizes in his teachings how people can 
change their lives, and that obstacles can be overcome by the human 

"When I was little I used to get death all the time. I asked God to 
take that gift from me. 

"I never wanted to be a medium this lifetime. I never wanted to 
claim that kind of energy. But that is the kind of energy that I initially 
drew. When I would be on the Greyhound bus going to visit my fa 
ther, especially on the turnpike, I would see people where there had 
been accidents. I'd see them walking and searching and looking. It 
was heavy. I realized after a while they weren't real. No one could 
see them except me/ 7 

Delilah Grayer's first awareness of her abilities came when she 
was around five years old. Until adulthood, she says, her powers 
were not productively used. 

Encouraged to talk freely about her spiritual perceptions and 
prophetic dreams, the child enjoyed a secure home life. As the sev 
enth female child in her family line to be psychic, she felt most har 
moniously situated. Though she protested over her perception of 
death and her view of afterlife states being the dominating quality in 
the emergence of her abilities, Delilah reminds us there was also a 
lighter side. 

"I had a dream that my mother surprised me at Christmas with 
a suit I really wanted. She didn't put it under the tree until later on 
Christmas Day. And that happened in reality! In the dream I wore 
the suit to school and a string was hanging down. I pulled the string 
and the suit fell apart. I totally forgot about the dream and wore the 
outfit to school. I was sitting in English class I'll never forget it! I 
pulled the thread and the suit fell apart. 

"I screamed, 'Oh God, just like in the dream! 7 7/ 

With her gifted daughter, Bakara Oni, Delilah Grayer now lives 
in Shaker Heights, Ohio. 

The mother and grandmother of Bakara Oni Lewis sat in 

16 Company of Prophets 

numbed silence. They had just learned that the child's great-aunt, 
Gladys, had been rushed to the hospital and was in the intensive 
care unit. Neither adult really noticed the little girl entering the 
room, but soon both were blown from solitude by the authority in 
the child's voice. 

"That lady is so tired, she is so tired/ 7 

Taken aback, the child's mother, Delilah, asked, "What lady?" 

Bakara Oni said she meant the lady in the hospital. She told her 
mother that they were cutting a hole in the lady, "Right here" and 
the little girl pointed to her throat. "Mommy, she breathes like this." 
The two year old then did an imitation of a shrill-pitched, labored 
breathing. Lying down on the floor, she built to shriller tones, and 
then became softer and less and less audible. 

Despite Delilah Grayer's abundant personal and professional 
familiarity with psychic phenomena, she could not control the panic 
she felt in watching her own daughter. As Delilah considered giving 
in to an impulse to leave the room, Bakara Oni commanded: 

"Mommy, stand still, don't move listen to me!" The child be 
gan singing a nursery rhyme, a favorite of Aunt Gladys. 

She stopped singing suddenly and said, "Don't you see her fly 
ing up to the sky?" 

The family learned that their relative died at approximately the 
time that Bakara Oni dramatized her ordeal; and that as part of the 
emergency treatment, the woman had undergone a tracheotomy. 

In early childhood Bakara's talent was evident: to view into, 
and be inside spaces at a distance from her body. Her mother recalls 
one example of many, a time when they passed a house which her 
child remarked she had been in before, and that she knew what the 
house looked like. She described a room with a lot of people sitting 
around a table drinking and playing cards. None of this was appar 
ent from the closed-up exterior. However, on their way back home, 
Delilah saw the exact scene described by Bakara through a door 
which had been opened. 

During the same period, before her sixth birthday, Bakara Oni 
had clear memory of a brief past life, the details of which she shared 
unaltered with her mother many times. She named her brothers and 
sisters then, and described her toys. There had been a tragedy a 

Since infancy, Bakara Oni has often been a calming influence on 
her mother during stressful times. While in the child's presence, the 

Children with Power 17 

parent feels her worries diminishing. 

Delilah perceives her daughter, now in middle childhood, as 
being less free. There are reduced instances of astral travel and di 
minishing evidence of the spontaneous side of her gifts. But her abil 
ity to predict remains unchanged. She often informs of events. There 
has been a trade, a surrendering of some psychic spontaneity and 
drama, for deeper insights of a spiritual nature. 

The woods behind Augusta's house was inhabited by a num 
ber of beings not of the physical world, beings only visible to the 

She discovered Indians, seemingly in another dimension, 
whom she loved to watch as they gathered and cooked herbs. They 
showed no concern in the least at the five year old's encroachment 
on their camp. Soon admitted among them, the child was taught to 
hunt herbs and prepare remedies to be used in healing. Augusta re 
tained this information on herbs, and when she was a healer at eight 
een she used it. 

Beings she later recognized as angels spent hours singing and 
playing with her. The devas gave her a present of two Chinese dolls 
in a swing. And the dolls delighted her, although they were only 
spirit- world manifestations. On Christmas of that year, she was es 
pecially surprised by the gifts from her parents, the identical toys in 
real-world substance! 

After she told her mother of the Indians, the angels, and the 
dolls, Augusta was shut off from the woods, and strictly forbidden 
to go there again. 

The final sundering of Augusta from her woods in Slaughter, 
Mississippi came when her family moved to Stuttgart, Arkansas be 
fore she was six. Her companionship with beings of other dimen 
sions ceased until she was twelve. At that age, more beings from the 
etheric world came to counsel her, and the way she was gifted be 
came more defined. Among the extraphysical ways she perceived 
were by visions, prophetic dreams, and telepathy. 

At eighteen, she began her spiritual work by preaching, and us 
ing her gifts of healing and prophesying in her life's mission, that of 
helping people improve their lives. 

18 Company of Prophets 

Born in Mississippi Bishop Augusta Harris now lives in Little 
Rock, Arkansas, where she is a spiritual counselor and the founding 
pastor of Damascus Spiritual Church. 

"I do not know when the visions began. Certainly I was not 
more than seven years old, but I remember the first coming very dis 
tinctly/ 73 recalled Zora Neale Hurston in her autobiography, Dust 
Tracks on a Road. 

My brother Joel and I had made a hen take an egg back 
and been caught as we turned the hen loose. We knew we 
were in for it and decided to scatter until things cooled off a bit 
. . . There was some cool shade on the porch, so I sat down, and 
soon I was asleep in a strange way. Like clear-cut stereopticon 
slides, I saw twelve scenes flash before me, each one held until 
I had seen it well in every detail, and then be replaced by an 
other. There was not continuity as in an average dream. Just 
disconnected scene after scene with blank spaces in between. I 
knew that they were all true, a preview of things to come, and 
my soul writhed in agony and shrunk away. But I knew that 
there was no shrinking. These things had to be. I did not wake 
up when the last one flickered and vanished, I merely sat up 

Arising from the strange "sleep/ 7 Zora was sobered. The care 
free child of a short time ago was gone forever. "I was weighed 
down with a power I did not want. I had knowledge before its time. I 
knew my fate. I knew that I would be an orphan and homeless. I 
knew that while I was still helpless, that the comforting circle of my 
family would be broken, and that I would have to wander cold and 
friendless until I had served my time/' 

The visions returned at random periods to haunt her at night. 
They were unaltered in detail except for the last picture. Zora never 
told anyone about the revelation, fearing she would be laughed at 
and thought of as different. 

Born in Eatonville, Florida in 1901, Zora was nine years old 
when her first vision came to pass. At that time she, as one of the 
family's eight children, was orphaned by her mother's death. 

Oh, how I cried out to be just as everybody else! But the 

Children with Power 19 

voice said, "No." I must go where I was sent. The weight of the 
commandment laid heavy and made me moody at times ... I 
studied people all around me, searching for someone to fend 
it off. But I was told inside myself that there was no one. It 
gave me a feeling of terrible aloneness. I stood in a world of 
vanished communion with my kind, which is worse than if it 
had never been . . . 

Time was to prove the truth of my visions, for one by one 
they came to pass. As soon as one was fulfilled, it ceased to 

William Edmondson had his first vision at thirteen or fourteen 
years old while working in the cornfields. This he described to his 
biographer, Edmund L. Fuller, for the book Visions in Stone. 

I saw in the east world, I saw in the west world, I saw the 
flood. I ain't never read no books nor no Bible, and I saw the 
water come. It come over the rocks, covered up the rocks, and 
went over the mountains. God, He just showed me how. 4 

Born in Nashville, Tennessee, about 1883, William Edmondson 
was more than fifty years old when he began to sculpt in stone. His 
art is in the collections of museums and art galleries around the 

Starting with a full moon phase, six-year-old June Juliet Gatlin 
"slept" continuously three or four days. Her worried parents, in an 
effort to break the sleep, forced her eyes open. But everything she 
saw in this state was in double image; and when she was stood up, 
her legs collapsed under her. 

Undisturbed by the body's afflictions, June, the spiritual being, 
viewed the scene from a distance. From the ceiling she looked down 
at her body, aware of her external volition without it. 

While in the hospital, with her physical self undergoing brain 
scans and series of tests, June willed herself spiritually about in as 
tral travel. Even before she was three, she knew she lived in two 
worlds of spirit and of flesh. By six years old, spiritual activity was 

20 Company of Prophets 

increasing and would continue intensifying through her fourteenth 
year. During one hospitalization, a staff doctor f ollowing the case re 
marked to June's parents that her state was well-known in his native 
West Indies, where children with similar trance-like symptoms 
were called "moon children/ 7 

Spirit intelligences whom she calls "energies" came to teach 
her, early this lifetime, guiding her to experiences needed to expe 
dite her evolvement in an existence as a being. Wandering through 
the aisles of libraries, she was guided to books crucial to her spiritual 
unfoldment which she identified by intuitive touch. 

Past lives opened up, especially those spent in India. Untrained 
in India's religious practices, she spontaneously at thirteen assumed 
advanced meditative yoga positions. Later when led to books on 
yoga, the familiarity of the knowledge she attained in those lives 
long ago was integrated knowingly into her present life. 

One of nine children, June was born in Akron, Ohio to devoted 
parents who provided their children with a comfortable and eco 
nomically secure life. With her peers, she was a confident and natu 
ral leader, a nonconformist who believed in challenging authority 
and in testing the validity of rules at school and at church. 

June was born with the gifts of prophecy and healing. Her 
childhood church, Church of God in Christ, co-founded by her 
grandfather, was the place where these early talents were affirmed. 
Members of the congregation, aware of June's healing presence, 
would crowd around her, seeking help. Unfamiliar with ways to 
handle the denseness of negative psychic energy generated by 
crowds, June, unknowingly, absorbed that energy and fainted. Her 
parents then took measures to protect their daughter from detri 
mental public exposure. Church members would line up to touch 
her and speak with her. They would testify to the physical, emo 
tional, and spiritual benefits they received through June's contact 
with them. 

By age nine, June discloses, she was already aware of her re 
sponsibilities and purpose for this life: to assist other African Ameri 
cans in knowing spiritually who they are. She explains that African 
Americans have limited themselves by allowing others to dictate to 
them instead of following their own directions and using their own 

"I am here/ she declares, "to awaken black people, to shock 
them out of inertia, out of accepting and not questioning/' 

Children with Power 21 

The African American community in the small South Carolina 
town in the late Twenties and early Thirties had, for all intents and 
purposes, put the child up for trial, convinced she was a witch. Her 
presence and behavior instilled fear and hostility in many Ben- 
netsville residents, as they did in her stepsisters and stepbrothers. 
The community's trial was called off when she triumphantly 
marched about with the Bible and a cross both of which the resi 
dents finally agreed no witch would dare carry. 

To reduce her other-worldly awareness, when she was five Es- 
telle's parents took her to a root doctor. The treatment failed to work; 
she continued boldly and assertively to foretell and to experience in 
ways that confounded those about her. However, having psychic 
awareness himself, Estelle's father understood his daughter, though 
he was unable to protect her from his wife's severe beatings and the 
community's ridicule. Still he encouraged her to use her gifts, saying 
she had a mission from God. 

Seeing death upon her only ally, timorously Estelle queried 
him. "Daddy, are you going to die and come back to scare me? /r 
Three weeks after assuring his twelve year old that he had no such 
intentions, her father died. The girl's stepmother, who overheard 
their talk, predictably blamed the child for his death. 

Like many children touched by wonderment, she innocently 
shared with others what she felt and saw: the sensation of being in 
the body of a bird she had seen perched in a tree, seeing the world 
through its eyes; the trees talking to her; angels singing. Sometimes, 
she would leave her body to travel, cutting loose from feeling un 
wanted. At the opening of church services, she knew already which 
ones among the congregation would be saved that day. Especially at 
night, Estelle would see ghosts wandering the countryside. Some 
would approach to attack her, but she called out to God, and like 
puffs of smoke, malevolent spirits vanished. 

Barely seeing over the counter in the toy store, not knowing the 
name of what he wanted, five-year-old Chuck Wagner pointed, in 
stead, to the item almost hidden away on the highest shelf. The Tarot 

22 Company of Prophets 

cards handed to him were, on a physical level, totally unfamiliar to 
the boy; but instinctively he had been attracted to them. And he 
knew, at once, how to use them. While his child cohorts were play 
ing with trucks, and mimicking a current hero, Hopalong Cassidy, 
Chuck was busy with the cards. 

To discourage his cardplaying, Chuck's maternal grand 
mother, who raised him, took his Tarot deck away and burned it. A 
highly religious, strict fundamentalist, she saw the cards as instru 
ments of the Devil. 

Chuck's mother, who was very young when he was born, 
wanted to be a singer. She and her sisters were persistent in their at 
tempts to get away from home and the South. They would some 
times jump boxcars in their eagerness to escape. When only five 
years old, Chuck, her only child, tried to persuade her not to go on 
one of these trips. '1 told my mother if she waited, her dreams would 
come true/ 7 Chuck recalls. "I think everybody thought she would 
have a bad time and wouldn't do well, and maybe she would have to 
hitchhike home." After she had gone, he was still puzzled by the 
message from the cards. "I kept telling my grandmother that she 
would come back in a box. I didn't know she would come back dead 
in a coffin/' After her daughter's death, Chuck's grandmother 
stopped objecting to his Tarot card readings. She had grown certain 
of his gift being God-given. 

When he spread the cards, Chuck felt he was watching a movie. 
They came to life for him, conveying meaning he passed on to oth 
ers. He was saying things he could not have been told previously. 
No one had previewed the information, or requested it. Although 
certain of what the cards revealed to him, the child did not know 
what he was doing. It seemed a game and unreal. At times, he 
thought people agreed with him and validated his pronouncements 
because they liked his grandmother and wished to keep on her good 

Shortly after getting the cards, Chuck amazed the waitresses at 
his grandmother's restaurant with his readings. Patrons were ask 
ing for him, and strangers soon came in looking for him. His uncle 
gave him a little cash box, and on some days the five year old had as 
much in it as his grandmother had in the cafe's cash register. Those 
receiving readings had spontaneously and gratefully made dona 
tions to him. He was popular with both African American and white 
Kansas City residents. 

Children with Power 23 

So impressed was a minister from a nearby Missouri town that 
he convinced Chuck's grandmother to allow the boy to prophesy 
from his church's pulpit. Chuck became a minister at six years old 
and was licensed at seven. An ordained minister in the Holiness 
Church at twelve years old, he toured the South with the sponsoring 
minister, accompanied by his grandmother. Often the principal 
speaker in the tents and small churches where they held service, the 
child read his Tarot cards from the pulpit, frequently drawing large 

"A lot of kids used to come to me for advice. I just told them, 
and it was always right. It was such a natural thing. It was no big 
deal/' recollects Vera Sutton about her psychic counseling as a stu 
dent in junior high and high school. "They would say, 'I have this 
problem and that problem/ And I would go from there. They knew 
it worked, so they came back. Other than that I was real quiet about 
my gift. I stayed to myself/' 

Vera was struck by the magnitude of her popularity as a coun 
selor while in the ninth grade. "I thought, 'Why are they all coming 
to me about their boyfriends and problems?' " 

"You sound like our mothers," she was told. 

"I remember one girl saying that I always looked and acted 
more mature." 

The youngest of ten children, Vera was born in Atlanta. She re 
lates that she was raised in a very loving home environment by both 
parents. The young girl preferred being alone at home and at school. 
Shyness did not cause her to withdraw; she did so as a matter of 
choice, catering to an impelling need to meditate and explore her in 
ner self. "I was always within myself for whatever ... I remember 
praying since I was three. When I was nine, my sister gave me my 
own personal Bible. I read it until the back came off ... I used to sit 
and meditate and be right in those places where Jesus Christ was. 
Holding His hand and going around with Him when He talked to 
people. I could see myself doing that." 

In describing her childhood gift, Vera relates, "I remember be 
ing aware when I was very young, even as early as five years old . . . 
of a natural knowing. It was not like a voice. I never heard anything. 

24 Company of Prophets 

I didn't close my eyes. It was just something that was a part of my 
consciousness, and I was so clear about it. It was not like reading 
faces or anything like that. It was self-knowing. 

"I knew that I knew, and what I came up with was right. There 
was no struggle to it, it was natural, and clear, and without a big 
'adoo 7 . " 

Pleased that he could elevate his body and his books into the air 
without any physical means, eight-year-old James often allowed 
himself that pleasure. "I would actually be suspended from the 
bed/ 7 

His spirit guide, warning "You are misusing your gift!", even 
tually taught the boy how to convert the energy he was using for 
amusement back into his body, to be used for something more prac 
tical, such as healing. 

"I had a spirit that was charged to me when I was a child. The 
spirit looked like an Arabian man The little man told me that his 
brother was going to come, and when he would come there would 
always be trouble very deep trouble/ 7 explains James Moye, who 
was seven when the spirit mentor entered his life. 

James was fourteen when the being did arrive with another 
spirit his twin brother. They had come to console and support him, 
but he was not aware why. It was soon after that James 7 mother died . 
"I was somewhere between six and seven that I remember seeing 
these people come from the cemetery. They would come and talk to 
me. These people would come like floating apparitions. They would 
appear to be on floats. I would always see the mist rising up. They 
would be talking at one time. I told my mother that I saw these peo 
ple coining and they had to be dead, because they were all so pale. 

"I was born with the gift ... I was able to see so much at an early 
age. 77 There was a telepathic tie with his mother, and the ability to see 
future events followed. At first, he only shared his prophetic in 
sights with family members; but by the time he was nine, he was 
making predictions at church. 

His message-giving was frowned upon by the church hierar 
chy and there was official effort made to suppress James 7 activities. 
/7 I chose to go underground, more or less. People would still want to 

Children with Power 25 

know. They would ask me after service if I saw anything for them." 
One woman, told by her doctor that she could never bear a 
child, asked then nine-year-old James to pray for her. "I prayed for 
her, and the child did come/' 

The older girl playfully whirled her sister by the heels; but 
when they closed in on a tree, their fun came to an abrupt end. 
Betty's head hit the tree solidly, and cracked open. This severe 
wound, like all the illnesses and mishaps of the family of eight chil 
dren, was treated by their mother, using the ways of natural healing 
she learned from her mother out of their Caribbean past. 

After recovering from the injury, seven-year-old Betty was as 
tonished to find unprecedented and sudden attention given her by 
other children. This confused her, and she remembers thinking to 
herself: "I am just a child; why are they coming to me as if I were their 
mothers? 7 ' Children at school and in her Newark, New Jersey neigh 
borhood were asking her questions and seeking solutions to prob 
lems in their lives. With ease she marveled she could answer them. 

A young woman came into the hospital where the sixteen-year- 
old Betty worked as a tray server. Following a psychic impression, 
Betty asked the woman if she had four children. "She answered, 
'Yes, but what business is it of yours? 7 1 told her, T don't know, but 
don't go outside the way you came in because someone is waiting 
for you/ " Together they went to the exit to check out Betty's premo 
nition. Peering outside, they saw a man crouching in the bushes with 
a switchblade knife. The woman thanked Betty for saving her life 
and left the hospital by another exit. 

A native of New Jersey, Betty Comes, an evangelist and psychic 
counselor, has lived in Los Angeles since 1977. 

Thrown from sleep by a loud explosion inside her body, Bennie 
at first thought somebody had hit her. No one else was awake. The 
twelve year old's discomfort grew as more internal sensation fol 
lowed. She felt rapid bursts of energy within, and a bright light 
flashed through her mental space. 

26 Company of Prophets 

Even now she recalls vividly how loud the explosion was. To 
her at the time it was a mystery, and remained that way until she was 
told many years later that the startling and uncomfortable impres 
sions she felt that night were caused by the opening of one of her 
chakras. Chakras, as explained to her, are psychic centers in the 
body through which spiritual energy flows. The rest of her chakras 
opened when she was twenty-nine years old, while giving birth to 
her son, Teddy. Soon after, she began hearing voices, and psychi 
cally seeing into the thoughts, emotions, and intentions of others in 
an intensified way. 

With her five sisters and brothers, Bennie was placed in a Cin 
cinnati orphanage by their parents who were unable to support 
them. She regards the move as predestination; she had to be sent 
away, since growing up under her mother's direction would have 
hindered her spiritually. At the orphanage, Bennie was popular 
with the staff. To amuse themselves they had her assess the age and 
weight of visitors. The accuracy of the seven year old astounded 
them, but they treated her performance as a game. None then ever 
recognized that the girl had a gift. 

Born in Ohio, Bennie Hollo way moved to California in 1962, 
where she is a psychic counselor. She tells of her spiritual purpose 
here on Earth, to help usher in the Golden Age of spirit on the planet. 

Beatrice had a peculiar gift. When someone was going to die, 
she felt pushed away from that person. She would know, regardless 
of what was tried, that person could no longer be helped, and would 

Her abilities came when she was eleven years old. She closed 
her eyes and saw images, and from these she predicted. Those 
events of the future she perceived happened as she described them, 
she states. 

After her mother died, Beatrice was raised from age nine by a 
relative. Although other children were aggravated by her strange 
knowing and mannerisms, calling her names and shunning her, and 
although she was called "crazy " by her aunt who didn't understand 
her gifts, older relatives and neighbors accepted the girl. Feeling 
sustained, Beatrice hung around them, sharing the benefits of her 

Children with Power 27 

special awareness. 

A native of Charleston, South Carolina, Beatrice Washington 
still resides there. Trained through revelations from God, her spiri 
tual work is done primarily through prayer. She is a healer and a 

Wilda grasped the woman's shirttail, steadying herself. The 
adult was often an assuring support for the toddler to lean against. 
When she was older, Wilda saw the familiar figure once again in 
the family photo album. She was amazed to learn the woman was 
her maternal grandmother who had died four years before her 

From her bed, many times, she watched small animated shapes 
of energy advance menacingly toward her; but they never could 
pass through the circle of light surrounding her bed. Unintimidated 
by their presence, she felt pity for these discarnate beings, and an 
urge to change them through love. Habitually during childhood, an 
angel visited her. Protecting Wilda seemed the cherub's duty. The 
time Wilda's clothing was aflame after playing with fire, the angel 
appeared. The four year old was unharmed, although her clothing 
burned away to nothing. 

A middle child with four sisters and five brothers, Wilda en 
joyed her siblings 7 companionship. She and one of her brothers were 
in the same grade at school. One day while they were in class Wilda 
looked at him; she sensed a distancing between him and everybody 
e l se a fading quality about him as if he were less present. On a 
family outing, that same year, she noticed a halo-shaped light above 
her brother's head. Again, he seemed strangely faraway. This 
brother died by drowning two weeks later. 

After his death he appeared to Wilda when she was intensely 
grieving over him. He patted her to soothe her grief, and she felt the 
warmth of his hand. Within a few weeks, he came to thirteen-year- 
old Wilda again. As they walked, he told her he was all right. He had 
comprehended he was eternal. Then Wilda perceived they were, in a 
nonphysical plane, "walking" across the sky together. After this 
meeting, her sadness lessened. She felt relief in her recognition soon 
afterwards that her brother left this dimension of his own free will. 

28 Company of Prophets 

Born in Arkansas, Wilda Mays is a resident of the San Francisco 
Bay area. 

As a young slave, George had no means to get the pocket knife 
he craved. He prayed, prayer after prayer, that such a knife might be 
his. In what he called his first revelation, George Washington Carver 
had a dream. The next morning, the six-year-old boy excitedly 
rushed through the plantation fields in a knowing search. It was not 
long before he found what he was seeking a watermelon from 
which protruded the type of knife for which he prayed. This scene of 
the watermelon with the pocket knife stuck into it was the exact vi 
sion he had perceived in his dream the night before. Carver consid 
ered that particular experience as being the earliest in the course of 
events which continued throughout his life. The commonality of 
these events was that desired knowledge, conditions, and objects 
came into existence in the physical universe as the results of his 

That he had a high psychic sensitivity to the life energies of 
plants was quite evident by his middle childhood years. So confi 
dent and intuitively knowledgeable about botany was the frail and 
usually shy boy that he would advise adults with unhesitating 
authority on correct treatment for their ailing flora. The residents of 
the southwestern Missouri community of Diamond, where George 
spent his early years, accepted his natural wisdom. His own recall 
ing of his faculty in childhood is noted in George Washington Carver: 
In His Own Words by Gary R. Kremer. 

And many are the tears I have shed because I would 
break the roots or flower ... of f some of my pets while remov 
ing them from the ground, and strange to say all sorts of vege 
tation succeed to thrive under my touch until I was styled the 
plant doctor, and plants from all over the country would be 
brought to me for treatment. At this time I had never heard of 
botany and could scarcely read. 5 

Although George enjoyed being with other children, he was 
rather withdrawn around them. He was liveliest ministering to and 
playing with the life that generated from earth itself. His brother, 
Jim, in watching George gently tending roses, once asked what he 

Children with Power 29 

was doing. The boy's reply was that he was ''loving the flowers/' 

Before she was nine years old, for several years Elizabeth was 
totally blind. The lack of physical sight was partly offset by the emer 
gence from within her of a new source of information. This informa 
tion, she describes, consisted of pictures, but never a voice. She used 
these prophetic visions as they came. " As a child, I would sit on the 
sidewalk, and as people came along, they would stop and I would 
tell them what would happen that day/' 

Memphis-born and raised, Elizabeth Toles was three months 
old when her mother died of childbirth complications. The infant's 
care was taken over by an aunt, and later in childhood by a step 

As a high school student, she felt her teachers were quite inade 
quate "dumb." Elizabeth would read the first page of her book as 
signment and then "make up" the rest, and they never detected this. 
From her "made-up" material, she wrote reports and received A's; 
other students, however, didn't fare as well when they, on their 
own, used the making-up technique which she shared with them. 
They received F's. As exam days approached, without probing, 
Elizabeth spontaneously knew the details of the tests. Although she 
did not comprehend the true significance of what she was doing, 
Elizabeth remembers she consciously used these gifts all during the 
years of growing up. Elizabeth did not realize at the time that her gift 
enabled her to know a book's content after reading the first page. 

"There's my green animal. Now, that animal, he's in the Gar 
den of Eden . . . God has him there but He hasn't put him on earth so 
man can see them," 6 explained elderly artist Minnie Evans of a green 
creature in one of her paintings. 

Green is God's theme color .... He showed me that ani 
mal, I wasn't old enough to go to school. He was on that ring 
around the moon. There were three of them. One real large 
and a medium size and a small, and I was playing out in the 

30 Company of Prophets 

street . . . and the moon was back up here, shining, and it drew 
my attention. 

Children said, "Minnie, what are you looking at?" I said, 
"I'm looking at those elephants/ 7 ... And they came an' 
looked up too and said, "We don't see no elephants." I 
thought everybody could see them .... One of the little chil 
dren jumped up and hollered and fell down and laughed, 
said, "Minnie's crazy, she sees elephants going around the 
moon." But they was going round that circle. I haven't seen 
another circle as bright as that in all my life. It was just as 
bright as the moon. 

On hearing the other children laughing at her daughter, 
Minnie's mother summoned her home. "Let that child alone, leave 
her alone/ 7 said a neighbor interrupting the mother's reprimanding. 
"God has showed her something He hasn't showed to you or me or 
nobody else/' 

In the documentary film of the painter's life, produced by Allie 
Light and Irving Saraf, the artist declared that dreams never let her 
rest much from childhood on. She was almost always tired in the 
morning. At thirteen came another series of dreams. 

It was old men startled me. They wouldn't try to hurt 
me, but they would throw me up. There was five or six of 
them dressed up like the old prophets. They would catch me 
as soon as I dozed off to sleep .... They would take me, carry 
me down the street, push me down, some catch me, keep me 
from hitting the ground, throw me up, just laughing and go 
ing on ... till I was just tormented, but they wouldn't try to 
hurt me. For three different times they had me down ... to the 
Soldiers' Cemetery. I have woke up more times in that ceme 

Someone called Minnie's name all day long whenever she 
stayed at her grandmother's house across the street from a cemetery. 

I said, "Listen, somebody's calling me." And every time 
(my grandmother) said, "Don't answer. Don't answer." She 
was afraid. She say, "You fixing to go to the bone yards." The 
cemetery she would call it. 

She say, "If you hear them calling . . . don't answer, just 
come and say, 'Mama, did you call me? 7 "... I had to break 
myself off from answering, cause they called me so much 

"Oh, what a miserable life I had, to be a child, I wasn't 
nothing but a child." 

Children with Power 31 

Born in North Carolina in 1883, Minnie Evans began painting 
and drawing in 1935. The animals going around the moon which she 
saw in that childhood vision are among the subjects of her art work. 

"I was between twelve and thirteen, between thirteen and four 
teen I saw the very first airplane. I didn't know what it was. I was 
in such a awful fix. So much of dream. I dreamt those great big ... I 
didn't know what to call 'em. I called on my mother, 'There's some 
big white . . . iron birds flying over our heads/ She said, 'What kind 
of crazy thing is that?' I didn't know, big iron birds and they're mak 
ing a lot of funny . . . sound, flying over me ... But they were flying 
over . . . and dropping fire. I was running along with the people. The 
street was . . . full of people, and they was howling and screaming, 
talking about this war." Since her mother didn't understand, Minnie 
went to her grandmother about the dream. "I said, 'Mama, what is 
it? What kind of thing is that?' She said, 'Minnie . . . something or 
other God has for you/ " 

Later into the new century, when airplanes were invented and 
came into wide use in warfare, Minnie then recognized "what kind 
of thing" she had foreseen in her prophetic dream. 

In a revelation when she was twelve, she was shown her gifts 
by the Lord; whether awake or asleep, she would have visions. Spir 
its would come to talk with her. She would sense and know the dis 
positions and thoughts of other people, and absorb their pains. She 
would receive empowerment to heal others through prayer. 

Ionia admits she felt unready to be entrusted with the gifts. As 
one of twelve children being raised by a widowed father, too much 
of her was needed in physical-world living. Then, on an afternoon 
when she was quieter than usual, the Lord began to prepare her. 
Ionia tells that He gave her immediate understanding of the Bible. 
And when her father perceived her sharp comprehension, he as 
signed her to read the Bible to him every Sunday. 

In adulthood, she has accepted her gifts. They are as she was 
shown in the revelation. She uses them to counsel, and to be of serv 
ice in her community. A member of the Praise the Lord Foundation, 
she visits prisons where she lectures and teaches. She prays with the 
inmates and instructs them in the scriptures. 

32 Company of Prophets 

Born in Louisiana, Ionia White has lived in Richmond, Califor 
nia for almost three decades. 

"I remember the first time I turned Queen of the Morning at 
Disneyland. The first time! I wanted to be the Queen and they came 
over. It was like I made them had them do it because they just came 
over and made me go up there. I wanted to go and they picked me! 
Then I did it another time/ 7 confessed April King in 1985. "I had a 
dream about a queen that pulled a sword out of a stone and that was 
with Merlin. That was the night before we went to Disneyland. The 
next day I was Queen of the Morning/ 7 

Her mother has noticed that whenever people with cameras are 
around, April manages to get her picture taken. "Well, it's like I 
think that they will do it and I want them to and then in a little 
while they turn the camera around and they do it," explains the little 

" April is accurate a lot of the time. Whenever she has a hunch, I 
definitely pay attention/' remarks the mother, Lori King, who is her 
self a psychic, and hostess of a metaphysical radio program. 

Even before the child was two years old, her mother was led to 
act on the young one's precognitions. For Lori, a particular incident 
of that period stands out. The family was then living in San Fran 
cisco, and Lori was still married to April's father. "April kept going 
to our front door and banging on it and saying, 'Mama, go see 
Granddad! Get car go now!' I called my husband at work and told 
him that we were driving to Bakersfield. We got there, and within 
three days my father was in the hospital for bypass surgery! I felt if 
we hadn't been there to help him get to the hospital he might not 
have made it. April was really in touch with him, even though she 
didn't know him well at that point/' 

Since she was three months old, April has been reading cards. 
At thirteen months she acquired her first deck of regular playing 
cards for her own independent readings. Her technique was to ex 
amine the deck, pass her hands over each card, then select one or two 
cards, and point them towards a person in the room. She has read at 
psychic fairs with her mother. Through her accuracy she has gained 
her own small following. A crystal marble is a part of her readings. 

Children with Power 33 

When she looks in it, she sees pictures. 

Described by her mother as an "open" child, April has been 
especially vulnerable to influences of negative spirit entities. The 
period between ages three and four was a critical time for her. To 
handle the psychic turmoil which threatened to encompass April, 
Lori took her to a spiritual teacher. They would have sessions with 
the teacher, Mishenanda; and at other times he would appear in 
spirit to help April handle the entities harassing her. 

April's great-grandmother, a discarnate being, has been 
vigilantly present in her life. She appeared during the child's birth 
and shows up on occasion very visibly, manifesting as she appeared 
in life a short, dark-complexioned woman of pure African lineage. 
She consistently is present when April is sick, and gives Lori instruc 
tions, and fusses at her about the care of the child. Aware of her 
paternal great-grandmother, April talks with her in dreams. At 
times, they astral-travel together. 

"One time my mother was sick in the afternoon. I touched her 
and she felt better for a little while. The next day, I touched her and 
she was completely fine/' By touching, April has helped her mother 
and several animals feel better. 

Participating in a psychic fair at six years old, April sold aura 
drawings she created, her mother reports. 

Born in May, 1980, April King lives with her mother in 
Bakersfield, California where she attends a Quaker school. In re 
sponse to a question about what she thought she was here to do in 
her life, April replied, "To be a doctor, and to help people get well/' 
She also thought of becoming an actress or a practicing psychic. 

The mother-daughter relationship between Lori and April is 
older than the present lifetime. Once the child asked the mother, 
"Who is the mother and who is the daughter this time?" 


The Medium V Way 

The National Spiritualist Reporter (April, 1984) gives the follow 
ing definition: 

A Medium is one whose organism is sensitive to 
vibrations from the spirit world, and through whose 
instrumentality, intelligences in that world are able to convey 
messages and produce the phenomena of Spiritualism. 1 

Until the middle of the 1980s the newsletter was published 
monthly by the National Colored Spiritualist Association of the 
United States of America. Organized in 1925, the Association contin 
ues to hold national conventions annually. Through its ''Declaration 
of Principles" the group imparts a philosophical profile. 

1. We believe in Infinite Intelligence. 

2. We believe that the Phenomena of nature, both physical 
and spiritual, are the expression of Infinite Intelligence. 

3. We affirm that a correct understanding of such expression 
and living in accordance therewith constitute true 

4. We affirm that the existence and personal identity of the 
individual continues after the change called death. 

5. We affirm that communication with the so-called dead is 
a fact, scientifically proven by the phenomena of 

6. We believe that the highest morality is contained in the 
Golden Rule: "Whatsoever ye would that others should 


36 Company of Prophets 

do unto you, do ye also unto them/ 7 

7. We affirm the moral responsibility of the individual, and 
that he makes his own happiness or unhappiness as he 
obeys or disobeys Nature's physical and spiritual laws. 

8. We affirm that the doorway to reformation is never closed 
against any human soul here or hereafter. 

9. We affirm that the precept of Prophesy contained in the 
Bible is a Divine attribute proven through mediumship. 

10. We affirm man's spiritual gifts, and that they are 
confirmed by the works of Jesus Christ, the prophets and 
apostles as recorded in the Holy Bible. 

The term "medium" became popularly associated with Spiritu 
alism in the United States sometime during the last half of the nine 
teenth century. Modern Spiritualism began as a movement in the 
United States in 1843, following the mysterious rappings heard by 
Kate Margaret and Leah Fox in their Hydesville, New York home. 
The rappings were revealed to be signals from a deceased man. 
Through the use of a code, communication was established with the 


The concept of mediumship has been broadened over the past 
two decades. "Channeling" is the contemporary and comprehen 
sive term in this recent outgrowth of mediumship. The role of the 
channel approximates that of a medium but differs in that commu 
nication received through a channel may come from sources of con 
sciousness other than those of earth discarnates; they may be from 
other dimensions, spiritual planes, or extraterrestrial beings. These 
spirits may have never had organic forms like those known upon 
Earth's gross physical plane of existence. 

"When you unfold, you are supposed to have a spirit guide 
who corrects you in all conditions; a physical health guide to take 
care of your health and to help you in sickness; and a finance guide/' 
asserts Chicago medium Louise Washington. 

Louise's history with the National Association of Spiritualist 
Churches goes back more than half a century. The oldest person in 
the organization's Illinois chapter, she has been a featured speaker at 

The Medium's Way 37 

national conventions for many years. She lectures, instructs, and 
demonstrates the principles of Spiritualism at the church she 
founded, Tucker Smith Memorial Spiritualist Temple. 

"I am never alone. I talk with and see my guides all the time. I 
don't make a move without guidance/ 7 Her direct experience with 
the spirit world, progressing from childhood, has been eventful. 

"I worked with the trumpet years ago when I was in class/' ex 
plains Louise about an apparatus used in standard seances. 
Through it the sound volume of spirit-world communication is in 
creased. It is a tool to facilitate communication between the two 
realms for the better understanding of seance attendees. "The trum 
pet is made of metal and shaped a little like a horn. In a class it is set 
on the table or floor. When the trumpet is charged it will float. It is 
floated by the spirit world. It moves or floats to whomever the mes 
sage is for/' 

Not long ago spirit- world doctors were with her while she un 
derwent major surgery. On their advice, she demanded the opera 
tion as the way to rid her body of a major disease process which had 
been undetected by medical science before her guides intervened. 
Wide-awake during the entire operation, she listened to the spirit 
world. "I told the doctor where to cut/' Louise confirms. Disease 
sites were found and removed where Louise had indicated. 

"Disembodied intelligences call what I do 'inspirational writ 
ing', as opposed to automatic writing/' says native Chicagoan Peter 
Brown, who became an ordained minister in the Spiritual church at 
eighteen years old. "There is a distinct difference. In automatic writ 
ing, you pick up a pen and wait. You take whatever you get. That is 
not necessarily good because there are intelligences that will play 
with you/' he warns. "With inspirational writing, you begin each 
session with a prayer. You ask for divine guidance. Then you have 
specific questions which you present. And these are answered. 

"I incorporated that into the ministry because they (the intelli 
gences) told me that was the proper function. It is a modem day pro 
phetic exercise. I moved it out of the realm of just psychic phenom 
ena as such. It is a legitimate religious experience. 

"In counseling, when people have problems, they want an- 

38 Company of Prophets 

swers. They come to me, we pray about their problem. I present the 
question and we get the answers/' 

Peter was eighteen when a medium told him that spirit forces 
had been trying to get his attention for years through the form he 
called a cornucopia. This form is shaped similarly to the ' trumpet 
sometimes used in seances for communication between the spirit 

world and humans. 

"In high school I would doodle while sitting in classrooms, be 
ing bored most of the time. I would draw a cornucopia the horn of 
plenty. Time after time, I would draw that thing," he laughs. 

A week after the medium's reading, Peter got a sharp pain in 
his arm while writing. "My handwriting changed/' Peter watched 
his hand write, "Hello!" 

'1 looked at it, thinking, 'What is this? 7 " 
His hand wrote again. "I've come to teach you/' 
"I called the medium up and told him what was happening. He 
gave me a lot of instructions. 

"For three and a half or four years, I sat every morning for more 
and more instructions and information which came from the other 

side/' he recalls. 

Over the many years since his first experience, Peter has had a 
succession of spirit teachers. "You graduate from one to another. 
They pass you along. I've had a time with that. I developed a rapport 
with the first one. His name is Hilarion. I decided I didn't want any 
changes. He had to really give me a going over. He said, y You can't 
grow this way. I am supposed to be the starter, then I am supposed 
to pass you on/ " To be a channel through which other human be 
ings can truly receive help, Peter has had to work on conquering his 
own mental aberrations. In this work toward spiritual maturation, 
he has been closely guided by the teachers. 

"The channel through which the information comes has to be 
reconstructed, has to lose opinions, instead of being opinionated. 
One has to be willing to lose the ego. 

"It takes some time to get over the things you know that are 
true, that really aren't true, plus deal with the flaws and weaknesses 
in your own personality. These are presented to you first. You have 
to overcome these," Peter says. "In that kind of catharsis, it may take 
you two to three years to overcome just one thing!" 

The Medium 's Way 39 

Spirit-directed, she dispensed messages to individuals from 
the pulpit of her church, the Upper Room, in Chicago. In a state of 
ecstasy, she danced while prophesying. Strangers often swelled the 
congregation, anxious for insight into their lives. 

Born in Arkansas in 1880, Mother Susie Booth had a church in 
Memphis, in her early adult years. However, most of her life was 
spent in Chicago where she was at one time a minister in Clarence 
Cobb's First Church of Deliverance. She was always prophesying. 
Day and night, her home filled with people coming for counseling. 
She kept up that pace until she was one hundred and three years old. 
A devout lady, she was forever praying, fasting, and dressing in 
white. God told her to wear everything white. 

Long ago, God also told Mother Booth to design and sew 
gowns for church functions and not to charge much for them. She 
obeyed and called this activity her second mission. Her robes were 
recognized by choir groups throughout Chicago and her artistry 
proclaimed. She was far past her ninetieth year before she stopped 

Of the things Mother Booth foretold, there were many. What 
she said came to pass. Even her own death, at the exact time she de 
scribed, occurred as predicted! 

A steady companion of Mother Booth for many years, Janie 
Lewis provides much of what is written here from her memories of 
the medium, who lived to be almost one hundred and six years old. 
Her spirit guides were powerful, Janie says. When these beings en 
tered the house, energy drained from everyone's body. A person 
couldn't do anything until they left. Mother Booth's conversation 
with them could be heard. She worked with many different entities. 
Sometimes she was in a trance and sometimes not. One spirit guide 
seen by Janie was towering, and his presence felt immense. Excited 
that Janie accurately described him, Mother Booth cried out, "Yes, 
yes, that's him!" 

Too tired to move from her chair one night to place the re 
quested pillows under Mother Booth's feet, Janie in some agitation 
saw a pillow rise, then slide under the feet by itself. To calm her, the 
medium assured her softly: "Don't worry, Janie, it's my mother!" 

40 Company of Prophets 

Directed by an unknown force, he stopped playing. His hands 
returned to the keyboard again, now guided into playing a style of 
music unlike anything he had ever played. 

"Who is there?" asked Count Carnette, telepathically, sensing 
an undeniable spirit presence which emanated serenity and love. 

''I am Frederic Chopin/' the entity responded. 

As evidence of life after death, Chopin revealed he and other 
discarnate composers would return to give music to Count to share 

with the world. 

"I thought I was going crazy/' says Count, in speaking of his 
initial reaction. "I didn't know my true divine nature, then." To un 
derstand the phenomenon, he turned to psychologists, priests, and 
rabbis. It was not until he corresponded with Rosemary Brown in 
England that he began trusting his own intuition. A psychic herself, 
she began channeling music from the masters in 1964. What Count 
already knew within himself, she confirmed. His music was in 
spired. The masters were channeling their creativity through him. 
That first appearance by Chopin in 1974 marked the beginning of a 
series of pupil-teacher relationships which included Johannes 
Brahms, Franz Liszt, Sergei Rachmaninoff, Robert Schumann, and 
lesser-known composers. 

In Threshold To Tomorrow by Ruth Montgomery, Count de 
scribed interactions with individual composers. 

I have a tender regard for Liszt. I feel a special rapport 
with him and recognize him as a loving soul with great 
patience and understanding. His method of working (with 
me) is typical. I am given a short section of the piece, which I 
must memorize (because he does not know how to write it 
down). During each sitting I am again given more to 
memorize. Later I am told exactly where each segment fits 
into the work as a whole. 2 

Robert Schumann's method differs somewhat from that 
of the other composers. When "To a Rose" was channeled, we 
worked nonstop from two a.m. until five a.m. At the end of 
three hours the entire piece was completely learned and 
memorized. Later he explained the music to me in detail, and 
said that it was dedicated to his wife, Clara. He said that in this 
piece it was his wish to show the many aspects of love: the joy, 
the sadness, and the intensity. 

The Medium's Way 42 

"Schumann was very formal and intimidating/ 7 the young mu 
sician recalls. "But, he was a wonderful teacher. He told me, 'You 
can often love a piano back into tune/ " The channeled composer 
worked only once with Count. 

In Seattle, Washington, Count lived in a large old church where 
he was caretaker. It was there he created and received instructions 
from discarnate composers. 

"I don't go into a trance when I play. I don't give up my body 
for any other being/ 7 

On the jacket of his record album, Psychic Piano Music from the 
Masters, Count further described the phenomena of his music. "I, 
myself, cannot take credit for these piano compositions and arrange 
ments, and believe that I have been assisted by supernatural forces. 
It is my belief that those Masters and Teachers who work with me 
give me music to use for a variety of purposes. Some of the music can 
be used during meditation to soothe the mind and help guide it in 
ward. Even physical healings could take place through the vibra 
tions of this music/' 3 

A New Age performer, Count tours the country in response to a 
growing demand for his recitals, 

"I have not studied piano formally since I began to play at the 
age of three/ 7 he explained on the album jacket. "Not one page of 
music manuscript was consulted during the preparation of this re 
cording, nor do I have the ability to notate any of the new music 
which I have received. Everything was prepared through what I call 
my psychic intuition. This process involves being as aware and as 
receptive as possible to each thing that is given. The music which 
comes to me does so with very little effort on my part. It simply 
flows/ 7 

In 1933, the same year she became a Spiritualist, Nellye Mae 
Taylor joined the National Colored Spiritualist Association of the 
United States of America. Experiences with racial discrimination 
in the churches of the National Spiritualist Association of the 
United States, both in Oklahoma and Kansas, led her to join the 
organization. In those days, she remarks, African Americans were 
welcomed at services in Spiritualist churches in the South but were 

42 Company of Prophets 

not permitted to conduct service or give readings. 

During the early years of her mediumship, she worked in Afri 
can American Spiritualist churches in Tulsa and Kansas City with 
her husband, Horace, a minister and medium. A former student of 
his, she had attended his philosophy and development classes. 
"When I met him, he had been in the work twenty-five years. He was 
twice my age. I learned to be guided by the spirit and intuition and 
that helped me to help others/' she remarks. For more than three 
decades she has been a resident of Phoenix, and pastor of the Taylor 
Memorial Interracial Spiritualist Church. Horace passed away dur 
ing the 1950s. 

Born in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1910, Nellye Mae attended West 
ern University and looked forward to a life as a foreign missionary. 
"But I knew I was lacking something spiritual and began to search/' 

At thirty-five, she became a billet reader. Blindfolded, she ran 
domly picked out of a container a question someone put into one of 
the sealed envelopes collected from the congregation at church serv 
ice. It was not through her physical senses that the inquirer's name 
and questions became known to her, as she held the selected un 
opened envelope, but through clairaudient communication with 
her spirit guide Great Eagle. 

Years ago in Tulsa, Spirit once spoke loudly to her outdoors. 
"After visiting a sick person, I was walking home in the dark around 
two o'clock in the morning when I heard a voice say, 'Look up and 
look out!' I looked up and saw fire coming out of a house." 

At the endangered home, an angry woman responded to her 
frantic knocking. In reactive disbelief, the woman repudiated Nellye 
Mae's warning and ordered her to leave. 

"Instead, I snatched the screen door open, broke the glass, 
reached in and unlocked the door!" 

As the hysterical woman advanced with a gun, Nellye Mae 
held her ground and talked with the children who huddled in a 
room nearby. One child, coaxed by her, went outside and saw the 
flames. Certain that the family was now mindful of the danger, 
Nellye Mae hurried off to call the fire department. The fire, located 
in the rear of the house, was caused by faulty electrical wiring, the 
apologetic woman later told her. 

About an experience with an apported object, Nellye Mae 
Taylor explains, "Spirit brought the tape recorder from Miami to 
Phoenix." In spite of a thorough search by the Miami hotel manage- 

The Medium's Way 43 

merit and herself, the tape recorder she had placed on the bed in her 
hotel room before going to a meeting could not be found. After it had 
been missing for more than a year, it reappeared in the living-room 
of her home! 

Eddie Cabral aligns with three entities to create what he de 
scribes as a "triangular energy/' One spirit, an ancient Egyptian 
teacher-deity, rises from repose on a bier within a golden-walled 
tomb to communicate. The second entity, called Korondu, is a lion; 
and the third being, a shiny black panther or jaguar, is named 
Niema. In teaching and healing, Eddie uses this triangle of energy. 

"I will not speak with any entity that is not illumined. Illumina 
tion is a space wherein negativity cannot exist/ 7 he explains. In a 
semi-trance, he reads for individuals. 'Two African gods open me as 
strongly as I need to be for the situation/ 7 

Born in Rochester, Massachusetts, Eddie has been in California 
since 1981. In the Los Angeles area where he resides, he is the assis 
tant minister of a church. Each month, one hundred miles away in 
Bakersfield, he co-hosts a psychic radio program. 

Also a visual artist, Eddie works primarily with oil colors. He 
has done paintings which were, several years later, revealing in pro 
phetic ways. While creating on an aesthetic level, he contacts a di 
mension of transcendent intelligences who have never known 
physical existence. "I channel a lot of my work/ 7 he explains. 

Writing songs and plays and acting round out Eddie's major 
activities. A goal he has in working with audiences is to "stimulate 
the Truth within each person 77 through his creations. He expresses 
an interest in seeing a spiritual reformation within the entertain 
ment and media fields. He wants to see a shift from destructive 
themes in plays and movies to constructive ones. Toward that objec 
tive, he has been channeling good information to the core of that 
group consciousness which can produce the needed change. 

"I do the work of God when I do something artistic. I know the 
power behind the work is a power far greater than me/ 7 

44 Company of Prophets 

"In Macon, Georgia, a colored girl, who was an excellent physi 
cal medium, frequently exhibited the feat of thrusting her hand 
amongst the blazing pine logs, and removing it after some sixty sec 
onds without the least injury. She always insisted, however, that she 
would only perform this feat when 'Cousin Joe/ whom she called 
her guardian spirit, was present and bid her do it." 4 Reported in the 
Christian Spiritualist, a periodical of 1860, were the activities of two 
individuals described as physical mediums. Under the direction of 
Spirit, they gained ability to place their bodies in burning flames for 
prolonged periods without being harmed. These were manifesta 
tions of a phenomenon called "fire immunity/ 7 

At New Orleans, Louisiana, a negro by the name of Tom 
Jenkins was well known for his power of resisting fire, under 
what he called the " 'fluence of Big Ben/' a boatman, formerly 
on the Mississippi River, and who, since the day of his death 
by drowning, had come and made what Tom called "magic" 
for him. On one occasion . . . (Tom) became entranced, took off 
his shoes and stockings, rolled up his pantaloons to his knees, 
and entered the pine wood fire, literally standing in it as it 
blazed upon the hearth, long enough to repeat in a solemn and 
impressive manner the 23rd, 24th, and 25th verses of the third 
chapter of Daniel. 

After completing a painting, artist Reginald Arthur found he 
had painted a man of East Indian descent, with careful detailing of 
sideburns and mustache. It was not a face he had ever seen, or a type 
he felt inclined to paint. 

In following another impulse to paint, not long after that, he 
surprised himself by producing the same picture. Giving no special 
meaning to the duplication, he sold one painting and gave away the 
other. At an unplanned reading with a psychic, several years later, 
Reginald was told that an entity was present. From the description 
given by the psychic, Reginald realized he was meeting the man in 
his two paintings! It was the being's third attempt to contact him, the 
psychic explained. The spirit, Auriel, in wanting to work with 
Reginald, influenced him to do the paintings; and in a final effort to 
communicate, led him to the reading. 

Of that relationship, initiated over twenty years ago, the artist 

The Medium's Way 45 

remarks, "Auriel became my spiritual teacher and guide after that 
meeting/ 7 

For a while Reginald gave messages in Spiritualist churches, 
from information received from Auriel in words and pictures. With 
his guide and Tarot cards he presently gives consultations to indi 
viduals in New York City. 

A performing artist who has a Master's degree in theatre arts, 
he sings, dances, and acts in off-Broadway productions. Teaching 
theatre methods to young African Americans in a way which would 
increase their psychic perception is a future project of his. 

"You ask God to strip you of your self, set your mind blank so 
the spirit of the Lord can command you . . . Sometimes nothing hap 
pens, but other times the Lord or other spirit forces desire to speak 
through you and prophecy occurs/ 75 In this way Lydia Gilford de 
scribed her mediumship to Michael Smith, author of Spirit World. 

The minister of the Infant Jesus of Prague Spiritual Church in 
New Orleans, Gilford has lived in that city all of her life. Raised a 
Catholic, she was twenty-one when her mother took her to a Spiri 
tual minister for counseling. Later she joined a Spiritual church, and 
in 1966 she founded her own church. "You could vent the spirit 
forces. When you feel like dancing, you dance. When you feel like 
shouting, you shout. When you feel the visitation of the spirit, you 
do whatever you feel like doing and it's all right . . . it's better felt 
than told/' she said, conveying her deep affinity for the Spiritual 

"The Spiritual churches have all the same saints as the Catholic 
churches, but have added a few more, like Black Hawk, and Sitting 
Bull- who were praying Indians and others. We go to Black Hawk 
for peace and justice." 

The information communicated by Gilford while in the trance 
state is not remembered by her afterwards. But people return to let 
her know the messages helped them. Believing the individual is re 
sponsible for making his or her own decisions in life, she explained, 
"If it doesn't come from within, it just doesn't work." 

46 Company of Prophets 

Through his mediumship, Joseph Galloway has prevented 
physical accidents, costly production delays, and has assisted fellow 
crew members in solving personal problems on the set. "Spirit has 
been working with me to open doors/' he says. Spirit friends, 
guides, and teachers come to him through the 'law of attraction/ 7 
guiding his spiritual development and his creativity. Sometimes in 
creative endeavors, such as script-writing, set-lighting, and conceiv 
ing camera movement, spiritual knowledge has spontaneously been 
imparted to him. 

Joseph is a free-lance director of photography in the Holly 
wood film community. His first job was with Lady Sings the Blues. "I 
didn't understand it until late, but I know I wouldn't have received 
the opportunity to work on the film if Spirit had not intervened di 
rectly on my behalf. My great-uncle, who was Billie Holiday's publi 
cist, and the lady herself, were both influencing forces." 

Joseph has worked around the country on projects such as Pee- 
wee's Playhouse and The Five Heartbeats. He recently co-produced The 
Gifted, a science fiction thriller about the supernatural. 

"There was strong influence from Spirit/' he notes of a pilot se 
ries, Worlds Beyond, which he worked on in the fall of 1986, an experi 
ence he considers unique to his film career. Working out of Lilydale, 
New York, he was executive producer and director of five 30-minute 
videos on Spiritualism, including mediumship and healing, spon 
sored by the National Association of Spiritualist Churches. He tells 
of exceptional mediums who greatly contributed to the film's 
smooth production flow. Problems tended to dissipate as quickly as 
they arose, and an unusual harmony thrived among the entire crew, 
both Spiritualist and non-Spiritualist. 

Joseph received a Spirit message through a medium which 
said, "You will be lucky for those with whom you come in contact." 
He has been instrumental in assisting several aspiring directors to 
launch their film careers. 

Since he was sixteen years old, Joseph has attended the Na 
tional Association of Spiritualist Churches of which he is now a 
member, a certified medium, and a former board member of the 
California State Spiritualist Association. A certified clairsentient 
with psychometric abilities, he lectures, teaches, and has read billets 
at church services nationally. 

Although a mental medium, Joseph experienced physical 
mediumship phenomena during his high school years. A photogra- 

The Medium's Way 47 

phy and art major, he often developed his own film late at night. 
While developing several prints from the same negative, he discov 
ered spirit-like faces, unidentifiable but distinct. These individuals 
had been nowhere in visible range when he took the picture and did 
not even appear on the negative. 

Joseph says of his mediumship, "God works for man through 
man. We give back to God by what we give our fellow man. I at 
tempt to give out the highest and best so I may receive from the infi 
nite the highest and best/' 

" Al Benson was as good a medium as there was anywhere/ 7 re 
members psychic advisor, Alvin Lock. "He was a real trance me 
dium. I worked with him from 1962 through 1967." 

"If he told me that door would fly open at 10:00 p.m. you 
could bet it would do that. He was just that much in tune/ 7 

Now deceased, Benson, whose real name was Arthur B. 
Leaner, was once a top Chicago disc jockey known as the "Old 
Swingmaster/ 7 He was active as a medium in Chicago during the 
1950s and 1960s. 

A medium and healer, Coleman Hill was bishop of a Spiritual 
church in Bakersfield, California in the 1940s and 1950s. 

"Bishop Hill could stop storms and calm rivers that were over 
flowing/ 7 recalls Arizona psychic Frank Gipson. "He knew my 
name and told me what I had been through before I ever talked to 
him/ 7 Impressed with HilTs clairvoyance, his mediumship abilities 
in diagnosing and healing, and his psychic rapport with animals, 
Gipson became his student in the early 1950s. 

Sally Wales was already reading when she and Clarence Cobb, 
a Chicago psychic and Spiritualist, decided to study together 
around 1935. She sought to expand the potentials of her gift. 

48 Company of Prophets 

"My mother was always psychic/ 7 says her daughter, Odessa 
Payne. "She got her messages from Spirit. She would look at people 
and read them from Spirit. At times, she used cards/' 

Born in Point Peter, Georgia, Wales 7 religious upbringing was 
in the Baptist church; later, she changed over to the Spiritualist 
church. In Chicago, about 1937, she set up her own storefront Spiri 
tualist church and delivered messages. 

On the effects of having had a gifted and well-known mother, 
Payne remarks, "My mother never probed into my life. She gave me 
suggestions. She was a very happy person. She made people quite 
happy. She would talk with them and help them/ 7 

While living in the Shaker community of Watervliet, New 
York, Rebecca Jackson received news of spirit "rappings," the phe 
nomena which signaled the start of American Spiritualism. Her im 
pressions of the event and her personal experiences with medium- 
ship appear in Gifts of Power, edited by Jean Humez. 

In the year 1850, March 15, a pamphlet was put into my 
hand, which gave an account of the spirits visiting the 
inhabitants of the West with strange knockings, and of their 
communications to the people, through the alphabet, by 
which they have been able to make known to the people that 
God has sent them to help the inhabitants of the world. While 
giving attention to these things, I had a clear view of God's 
dealing with me, from July in the year 1830 to the year 1850, 
that I was greatly astonished at His mercy to a worm of the 
dust like me ... Through the aid of departed spirits, I have 
been able to tell many things before they took place . . . For all 
these years I have been under the tuition of invisible Spirits, 
who communicate to me from day to day the will of God 
concerning me and concerning various events that have taken 
place, and those transpiring now and those that yet will occur 
in the earth. But this communication to me has been in words 
as clear and distinct as though a person was conversing with 
me. By this means I have been able to tell people's thoughts, 
and to tell them words they have spoken many miles distant 
from me. And also to tell them things they would do a year 
beforehand, when they had no thought of ever doing such 
things. 6 

The Medium's Way 49 

After participating in a seance on August 1, 1854, Jackson de 
termined to form a "circle" at home. With her close companion, 
Rebecca Perot, she sat intent upon contact with evolved spirits. "I 
felt that the foundation must be laid in strength and in power, in or 
der for me to work under God for the good of souls. Therefore I de 
sired higher spirits than those of my natural kindred, for it was the 
latter that I was called to help/ 7 

Soon known to Jackson was that Perot's attention was fixed 
upon a lower vibratory level. "I asked her if she felt any gift to desire 
any spirits. . . . She replied, 'My mother/ Then I told her how needful 
it was for us to have higher spirits at the commencement, to give us 
right knowledge of so great a work. She agreed with me." 

At one seance, in deep distress, the spirit of Jackson's deceased 
husband, Samuel, entered. A prayer offered on his behalf immedi 
ately brought spirit-world assistance to him through her brother, 
Joseph Cox, also deceased. 

When my brother came running, to help him into 
liberty, it overcame him. For he well remembered the deep 
sorrow, shame, and tribulation of soul he had caused my 
brother to feel by his cruel persecution of me. And he 
supposed he would be the last one to come to his aid. But 
instead of that, he, with me, was the first. He, out of the body, 
and I, in the body. He soon learned that it requires mediums 
out of the body and mediums in the body to help souls into the 
way of salvation. He saw many souls, with me, waiting to 
help. And that I was ready to lead him to a place in the spirit 
world, where he could be taught the work of "progression." 

Mother Estelle Ellerbee often hears beings crying for help, 
and sees them walking "between the earth." Feeling their anguish, 
she prays for and with these earth-bound spirits. In many shapes 
and energy densities they appear to her. As lights, vapor, energy 
patterns, materialized heads and hands, and in the projected 
bodies of their former life identities, they come. Spirits of the 
living, temporarily detached from their bodies, meet with her as 
well. There are temperature and vibratory changes in the room 
where disembodied spirits are speaking to and through her. These 
changes are sensed by her son, Clarence, and other observers. Both 

50 Company of Prophets 

psychics and non-psychics. Visual phenomena are seen around 
her flashing lights, electrical streaks, and non-physical human 
like forms. 

An evangelist, Mother Ellerbee founded the Miracle Chapel 
Deliverance Church in New York City where she lived for many 
years. Now she holds prayer meetings in her home in East Orange, 
New Jersey, and is frequently a guest speaker at church conventions. 
At the close of one church service, a woman from France came for 
ward. A visitor to the United States, she had been referred to the 
church by a friend. Having a message conveyed to her by Mother El 
lerbee was strengthening, the woman said. As a result, she knew she 
could face the crisis she was in. The message from Spirit that day had 
been spoken in French, a language totally unfamiliar to Mother El 

Arriving home from a party around four o'clock in the morn 
ing, Jesse James Jr. had an urge to make breakfast. "While the bacon 
was cooking, I decided to lay down and take a short nap. And of 
course, the bacon burned. In the meantime, the house had filled with 

"I had an entity who came and in warning shook the bed for 
me. When I awakened the whole bed was shaking, and there was no 
one in the room but me. 

"That proved to me that there are those around us who watch 
out for us. Some may call them guardian angels, some may call them 
spirit guides. I know I have a bunch! They really look after me." 

Jesse was newly into Spiritualism when this happened. His 
spirit rescuer, Dr. Joe Davis, became his first guide. They met 
through dream state. His Indian guide, Tomahawk, came one year 
later. "I felt I needed to change my life and it just came about. I hap 
pened to go to a Spiritualist church and enjoyed the service. The 
minister 'opened the doors' for me. I stayed with her church for a 
couple of years . Then I went on to another church and studied with a 
development class for one month and my psychic ability just 
opened," Jesse remembers. 

"Basically I am a clairvoyant. A clairvoyant speaker and healer. 
I am a medium more than a psychic. I do psychometry, billet read- 

The Medium's Way 51 

ing, a lot of counseling, and fairs in churches/ 7 A licentiate minister 
in the National Association of Spiritualist Churches, he has been in 
the work for almost a quarter of a century. In his hometown, Gary, 
Indiana, he is the president of a Spiritualist church. He teaches 
classes in mediumship development, metaphysics, psychic unf old- 
ment, and co-directs weekly seances at the church. An inspirational 
speaker, lecturing for civic groups and at universities, Jesse was one 
of the first African Americans to lecture and give readings at Camp 
Chesterfield. Located in Indiana, it is one of the oldest Spiritualist 
camps in the United States. 

'To be of service/ 7 he explains as his purpose in life. "To me, 
service is the greatest religion. There is no religion greater than serv 
ice. I believe that should be the path of everybody/ 7 

Jesse has had experiences with physical manifestations by 
spirit. "I have had apports. I was in the beauty salon where I work 
when three kernels of corn were apported to me. Five women were 
present in the room, and we were just talking when the Indian corn 
just dropped right in front of me. I knew what it was after it hap 
pened, but I was so startled because I wasn't expecting it. I was so 
pleased. It was my Indian spirit guide telling me I would be well 
blessed on my spiritual path/ 7 

A flow of teachings from spirit-world masters are communi 
cated through her in accordance to seasons. Rose Anderson, an inde 
pendent Spiritualist, is a teaching medium. Although frequently in 
and out of trance during class, she never allows herself to be com 
pletely taken over. Nor does she leave her students undirected, ob 
serves long-time student, Roena Rand. 

In the Oriental season, the group benefits from the teachings of 
a spirit who is an Asian master; and during the healing period, an 
entity who is a healing teacher works with them. Intensive medita 
tive exercise is a part of the class process. After the weekly meeting, 
students return to class, in astral body, twice a week, at 10:00 p.m. to 
continue their instructions. 

Only a few saw the visitor, but at one session the entire class 
heard the bells and felt the energy radiating from its presence, Roena 
recalls. It was an angel, who had arrived to assist the group. 

52 Company of Prophets 

After he had studied with Anderson for some time, Joseph Cal- 
loway astral-traveled to a West Coast church while his physical self 
was in Chicago. A member of the West Coast church told of having 
seen him. He advised her on a serious matter within the church or 
ganization. Joseph claims this ability resulted from his meditation 


One Lenten season, Anderson directed the group back to the 
time when Jesus made His entrance into Jerusalem. Guiding the 
class from spectatorship into being a part of the Jerusalem crowd, 
she led them to experience the city's dust, and to feel the vibrational 
waves of emotion there. Despite its varying levels of awareness, the 
whole class time-traveled with her, perceiving sound, color, smell, 
and sensations. 

Anderson, a retired Chicago school teacher, began her spiritual 
teaching mission under the tutelage of Clarence Cobb. In addition to 
conducting spiritual unfoldment classes, lecturing, and giving 
workshops at secondary schools and universities, she is a civil serv 
ice administrative assistant in Chicago. 

Surveying the natural resources of Britain by psychic impres 
sion, Ivan St. John placed his hands on the map at locations named 
by his friend, Peter. 

"I went on and said whatever came to my mind. To me it was 
not the most interesting kind of thing to be doing. At some point, I 
dozed off ... bored. I woke up. I sort of jumped and said, Tm sorry I 

dozed off!' 

"Peter said, This is the good stuff. Why didn't you tell me you 
were a trance medium?' " Spread on the table were voluminous 
notes Peter had taken while Ivan "slept." 

"My first reaction was that he was joking. Soon I became very 
suspicious. One of the reasons I had such a reaction is that up to that 
time I had regarded mediums, for the most part, as a little strange 
and rather hokey to tell the truth. 

"When I did lectures, occasionally, or talked to people about 
my psychic abilities, before this, I always said it was straight ESP. I 
had nothing to do with spirits. I used pure psychism and none of that 

The Medium's Way 53 

"I looked at (Peter's notes) and thought, 'This is all interesting. I 
wonder what's up and what he is up to?' I didn't think I could have 
been asleep long enough for him to write those notes. There were an 
swers to some of the questions he was concerned about and there 
seemed to be some information about lost civilizations. I thought, 
'This is really strange even if this is the 1960s in San Francisco/ " 

Enthusiastic about the trance information, Peter convinced 
Ivan to have another session a few days later. "I didn't know what I 
was doing. I didn't believe very much was happening. I closed my 
eyes and sat and sat. I opened my eyes and said, 'This is stupid/ 

"Maybe this will make you feel comfortable. Maybe you are 
self-conscious," said Peter as he blindfolded Ivan. 

"I found myself going into this slow breathing and I nodded off 
again, and I woke up. I thought, "This is silly/ " 

"This is terrific!" said Peter. He had more notes on Britain's 
natural resources, and on lost civilizations. 

Intent upon putting an end to Peter's game, Ivan talked him 
into doing another session the same evening one they would re 
cord on tape. "I woke up, took off the blindfold, looked at the tape. A 
lot of it was used." A deeper-toned version of his own voice was 
heard by Ivan as he played the tape. 

"You aren't kidding," Peter said. "This is new to you, isn't it?" 

"It seemed like I was listening or repeating things someone was 
telling me," explains Ivan. "I kept saying, 'They're showing me such 
and such. Then I said, 'He wants to introduce himself/ In a trance, I 
described this person talking to me." 

The lost civilization of Atlantis was among the topics which the 
etheric-world entity discussed with Ivan. 

"I had a complete mixture of emotions. I was intrigued. I was 
very 'turned off. It scared me. I wanted to hear more. 

"It seemed so 'cornball' at that time. Something claiming to be 
somebody out there, or possibly another part of me that was talking. 
It took me years, personally, to come to the conclusion that it was an 
other personality and not a secondary personality." 

Following the experience, Ivan began a series of "sittings." A 
small seance group formed. The personality of the etheric-world 
teacher, Tony, grew more distinctive. "It took me a while to come to 
a conclusion that this was a discarnate. I began questioning what 
was coming through. One of the things I had to learn was that 
whomever it was, he seemed to have work to do, and that my role 

54 Company of Prophets 

was that of a medium. I didn't have to like everything that came 

"One of the things I have had to learn is when people get angry 
with Tony, which happens on occasion, they are angry with Tony, 
not with me. I will not let people take it out on me, nor do I resent 
them. I will explain what I think he means since I have some idea 
about what he has been saying over the years. 

"The teacher and I went through probably everything people 
go through in any other relationship. In the early days, he would 
many times say, 'I can't get this through because the medium is con 
sciously blocking me/ or /r The medium is unconsciously coloring the 
information/ or 'The medium is biased against this particular topic/ 
Over a period of time, he gave information about himself. . . . We ne 
gotiated terms of work/' 

The contract Ivan made with Tony covers twenty-five years. 
There was a time Ivan felt overburdened by their work. It absorbed 
all of his time, he complained to the entity. In response, the entity 
said, "Have you ever thought about this fact: whenever you book a 
reading, a lecture or a class, I show up. And you have not consulted 
me once ahead of time?" 

"It made me look at how I was dealing with other people. How 
I was taking other people for granted," says Ivan. 

"A great deal of teaching is done in the trance work. Occasion 
ally, some healing meditation is done. The trance work has brought 
about the end of some physical conditions, but I wouldn't say I am a 
healer. Healing is one of the incidental things which happens," re 
flects Ivan. 

"Through trance we have done psychic photography. A case of 
projecting images on film that was in sealed containers. We have all 
the years of documentation of that. Occasionally, in a trance, I did 
what is called sealed-letter reading where people write things on pa 
per, seal it, and without opening the letter, I would psychometrize it. 
I would do that as a sort of 'warm up' before I did the trance work. I 
stopped doing that years ago." 

Classes and workshops based on Tony's teachings have been 
given by Ivan. Some people have attended these events for the past 
twelve to eighteen years. 

In teaching, the channeled being emphasizes he is not saying 
anything new. The teachings are old, but he is putting them into new 
terms. "He doesn't make himself infallible. He makes it very clear 

The Medium's Way 55 

that he doesn't know everything, which was a shock to some people. 
Somehow, people get this idea when you get someone on the pipe 
line like that they know everything/ 7 

Out of the seance group rose a natural policy on how to regard 
the entity's communication. "If the information seemed to have 
some validity, let's deal with it. It was a growth thing for everyone. 

"I feel that a very important thing to do is to check the informa 
tion. I tell people who come to the meetings, 'This is my belief, you 
don't have to believe it/ 

"I have worked more intensely than ever since the arrival of 
Tony. Simply because I have been put in a position to learn a great 
deal about myself through his teachings. He has taught me to work 
hard and to dedicate my life to my work. I don't think I have had as 
much fun or laughed as much. But, on the other hand, he has taught 
me that you can be a spiritual person without being 'sour grapes'. 
Before I thought if you got into one of these things, you didn't have 
fun and you were just religious. 

"He has taught me that no matter what your spiritual path is, 
you are not going to be exempt from daily problems. It doesn't sur 
prise me if I get ill, or if something in the house breaks, or someone 
'rips off something. That doesn't have anything to do with my spiri 
tual interior status. 

"What Tony has taught me is how to gear my reactions to those 
things. That a continuous process of dealing with, confronting, and 
interacting with oneself is growing." 

Ivan grew up in St. Louis, Missouri, traveled, spent three years 
in New York City developing "survival skills' 7 before he moved to 
San Francisco in 1966. He was the owner of a metaphysical book 
store, "The Philosopher's Stone," in that city. 

"I was a natural psychic before I became a medium. But that 
was mostly premonitions, either conscious or in dream state. Occa 
sionally, I would just perceive things about people, sometimes I 
would say things without thinking. It would be something that 
amused someone or gave spontaneous insight into a person. People 
would either react in positive ways or react in negative ways de 
pending on the information. 

"As far back as I can remember, it was just one of those things. I 
can't think of any first time. When it happened it was very natural. 
Gradually, it was brought to my attention that most people most 
children didn't do that. 

56 Company of Prophets 

"Sometimes we would go somewhere and my mother would 
say, If you see anything, keep your mouth shut. f/ " 

In a difficult period, a few years after he became a medium, 
Ivan was home one day, feeling hopeless. The effect of being finan 
cially and emotionally drained engulfed him. He was unable to 
reach to friends for help since his temperament had alienated 
them he felt. "I began to have this feeling someone was watching 
or looking at me. I turned there he was! I thought, 'Well, you've 
done it! You've snapped! 7 " 

"Do you recognize me?" a familiar voice asked. In the bright af 
ternoon sun, Tony, the entity, appeared as solid as any embodied 
person. Immediately Ivan spouted off his frustrations. They talked 
about their work, the barriers between them, and ended by reaffirm 
ing their agreement to work together. Asking for his teacher's bless 
ings, Ivan knelt and closed his eyes. 

"He put his hand on my head, and I felt like I was going to die. It 
seemed like volts and volts of electricity went through my body. I 
could feel his hand and gradually I could feel it fade. When I opened 
my eyes, he was gone. I just started crying, and laughing and danc 
ing around at the same time. 

"Then I sat there and thought, 'Well, I guess I'll just have to get 
to work, won't I!'" 


Ascetics, Ecstatics, 
and Seekers 

On a plain, everywhere, sea anemone-like animals in- 
verted in hollows in the earth, filling and coloring the pits with 
their bodies of purple and black parachute silk. 

In that wide expanse, she walked, meeting only one person, 
a plumpish woman with gray-brown skin, who looked East In 

Since there were no walls, the walker's stomach uneasiness 
emanated greatly, and the woman answered to it: 

"Look to Paris for this residue carried from your past life 

The walker's mind fixed upon that thought, and discom 
fort vanished. 

She was, then, stirred to speak, but the ache in her throat, 
from something pondered too long, slid out as a deep sigh. 

Her weighted thought ("I want to be on my spiritual 
path") was an entreatment and a long wail. When cast over the 
distance between them, that thought, too, was absorbed by the 

"All you need to do is say it," the woman said to inspire 

But when the walker tried, that inmost energy, drawn 
upon to form conviction, constricted in her throat from the fears 
of sacrifices she might have to make, yet steadily in her heart, as 
sured of birth, Truth grew. 


58 Company of Prophets 

Desiring spiritual understanding, he began to search whole 
heartedly when he was about forty. His route was through reading 
metaphysical and religious books, and taking occasional classes. In 
this pursuit, the framework of what had previously been Walter's 
normal life fell away. 

In his gradually altered life, connection with the spirit world 
was made through dreams; Walter's father appeared and spoke 
with him. His sleep was marked, further, by dreams of intuition. 
Soon he realized he could separate from his body; and he was cover 
ing appreciable distances before returning to it. 

While still in his early forties, there came an occasion when 
Walter would perceive a small beam of intense light when he closed 
his eyes in a meditative way and asked questions. His awakening 
spiritual faculties are described in his book Divine Light Meditation, 
written in the 1980s. 

This light was unlike any light that I had ever seen. My 
eyes were closed so I realized that the light was within me. It 
was not with my physical eyes that I was seeing this light; it 
was with my consciousness that I perceived this light. No 
sooner had the light appeared than it disappeared, and before 
me was a scene. In the scene was a person sitting at a table, and 
they spoke the answer to my question. 1 

Communication between Walter and the "Divine Light" con 
tinued with his being counseled and guided by it. 

Drawn to Eastern philosophy, his study of meditation, yoga, 
and Eastern teachings mostly came, again, from books. The great 
teachings of the East, he found, all had one thing in common: 'The 
common denominator is that God is within each and everyone." 
Perceiving meditation as the way to "become one with the God 
within," Walter meditated more often. 

I was in my middle fifties, and I had been practicing 
meditation and beginning to experience uncontrolled bodily 
movements while I sat in meditation. When in meditation I 
would be given guidance. . . . The inner voice would speak 
loudly and clearly with my voice 

One day as I sat in my chair to meditate, I was rocked 
back and forth and eventually lifted up into the air a distance 
of about one or two feet. I was surprised that this could hap 
pen, but I sat down and did it again. The inner voice then told 
me that it was lifting me. 

Ascetics, Ecstatics, and Seekers 59 

In this same span of time, the inner voice named Walter a mas 
ter, revealing to him, " A master is one through whom God freely ex 

I have been asked, "How do you manage to levitate?" . . . 
I will share my secret with you. I of myself cannot levitate. It is 
God, the Divine Light within me, that levitates me. When I sit 
to levitate, I talk with the Divine Light, and it tells me that it is 
going to levitate me, and it does so 

Levitation is not a form of entertainment. Levitation is 
done for the purpose of God demonstrating his presence. In 
levitation God is saying, "I am present, and I can defy the laws 
of gravity and physics to prove my presence/ 7 

In teaching meditation and imparting spiritual knowledge, 
Master Thomas conveys his certainty that "When we live in har 
mony with God within, our life is fulfilled and enjoyed. 

"There will be no peace on Earth until we, each, find peace 
within ourselves/' he explains. 

Born in Chicago, May, 1925, Walter Nathaniel Thomas Jr. 
founded the Divine Light Temple in that city in 1975. The Temple, 
initially called the Center For Seeking, was settled at its current loca 
tion in 1980. Master Thomas wrote of a providential event in secur 
ing it in his book Spiritual Meditation, in which he refers to himself in 
the third person. 

It never entered the consciousness of the Center For 
Seeking members that the temple would not be constructed. 
The year was 1980, a time when real estate transactions were 
grinding to a halt due to the sky-rocketing interest rates. Mas 
ter Thomas . . . was paying the mortgage on a 12 (unit) apart 
ment building which was barely profitable. He came to the de 
cision that the property must be sold. One day while meditat 
ing in his closet, he was lifted up into the air and screamed out, 
"You will sell the building today/' Approximately two hours 
later, he received a long distance telephone call from Wash 
ington, D.C. The lady . . . had heard that Master Thomas 
wanted to sell his building, and she was able and willing to 
pay cash for the purchase . . . with this infusion of money the 
completion of the CFS Healing Temple was made possible. . . 2 

60 Company of Prophets 

"I cried mightily to God to make me holy!" 3 wrote Rebecca 
Jackson. Aspiring to spiritual clearness following a conversion expe 
rience in 1830, she began the practices of fasting, continual prayer, 
celibacy, and other activities of self-denial. "I prayed to God to give 
me a strong mind that I might be able to serve Him with all my days, 
with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength/ 7 This she recorded in her 
journal, which is presented in the book Gifts of Power: The Writings of 
Rebecca Jackson, Black Visionary, Shaker Eldress, edited by Jean 
McMahon Humez. 

"I saw clear that nothing short of a strong mind would fit me for 
this journey, and prayed the Lord to show me all things that He 
would have me do, both spiritual and temporal/ 7 

Of the way she acquired knowledge, Rebecca declared, "It 
pleased God in His love and mercy to teach me in dreams and vi 
sions and revelation and gifts. Herein my faith was often put to the 

Thwarted by illiteracy in her intense desire to read the Bible, 
Rebecca was also disappointed over her brother's laxity about teach 
ing her to read and write. While she was feeling disheartened about 
his unresponsiveness, she began receiving messages. 

"And these words were spoken in my heart, 'Be faithful, and 
the time shall come when you can write ' " 

On a later day, another communication was given. "This word 
was spoken in my mind, ' Who learned the first man on earth?" 'Why, 
God/ 'He is unchangeable, and if He learned the first man to read, 
He can learn you/ I ... picked up my Bible . . . opened it, kneeled 
down with it pressed to my breast, prayed earnestly to Almighty 
God if it was consisting to His holy will, to learn me to read His holy 
word. And when I looked on the word, I began to read. And when I 
found I was reading, I was frightened then I could not read one 
word. I closed my eyes again in prayer and then opened my eyes, 
began to read. So I done, until I read the chapter/' 

Rebecca went to her husband, Samuel, to tell him of her newly 
received gift. 

"I can read the Bible/' "Woman, you are agoing 
crazy!" "Praise the God of heaven and of earth, I can read His 
holy word!" Down I sat and read through ... So Samuel 
praised the Lord with me 

In her spiritual quest, Rebecca was led to examine her thoughts 

Ascetics, Ecstatics, and Seekers 61 

and beliefs. And one of the beliefs she pondered was, "those who 
had done me wrong ... I had never forgiven them and I never in 
tended to unless they came to me and asked my pardon for the 
wrong which they had done me. Nor did I believe that it was re 
quired of me at the hand of the Lord/' 

In those days of my fasting and praying, I was under 
continual instruction I was told I must never speak of any 
body's faults, but pray for them. I must never let the sun go 
down and I feeling hard at anyone that had done anything to 
me, however cruel or unjust. I must go and pray for them till I 
felt sorry for them and loved them as though they had done 
nothing. Then I might pray for myself. For my prayers could 
not be heard for my own soul, until I loved and prayed for all 
my enemies. 

In preparing to leave for a meeting which, earlier, Samuel had 
agreed to attend, Rebecca was suddenly opposed by him. 

... It was cloudy at breakfast. He looked at me. "Rebecca, 
you ain't agoing/ 7 1 said nothing. He said, "You are a strange 
woman/' I then said, "No." And as soon as I said "No," these 
words were spoken to me: "Whom do you serve, God or 
man?" I got right up and went to my place of prayer . . . and 
prayed to Almighty God to teach me at all times what He 
would have me do. And these words were spoken. "Ask what 
you will. It shall be given." "Lord, stop the rain till I get there." 
So I kept in prayer. It was said, "Your prayers are heard. See? 
It don't rain." 

I should have said, while at table it began to rain hard, 
and then I said I should not go. So now it was done raining ... I 
began to get ready. Samuel placed himself in the door. ... He 
said, "You ain't agoing." 

I came by him with these words, "Farewell, don't think 
hard of me I must go. And when I got out the spirit of the 
Lord was upon me . . . and the journey was light, though ... I 
was in poor health 

. . . my brother saw me, but he thought it impossible. . . . 
He then began to call to me. . . . When he got to me, he said, 
"Where did thee come from?" "Why, from home." "How did 
thee get here?" "I walked." He was like one lost in his mind. 
He knew that when he went out the door, I had yet to dress. 
And when I was well, I could not keep time with him in his 
common gait of walk. "Sister, I want to ask thee something. 
Didn't thee go upstairs to pray to the Lord to stop the rain?" 

62 Company of Prophets 

"Yes." "I thought so." "And it won't rain until I get there." . . . 
"And Samuel will come also/' "No, Sister, he will not." . . . 
When I got about a stonethrow from the meeting, it began to 
rain. If my brother had not forced me aside to his friend's 
house, I should have got to the place before it rained though 
I did not get wet. So, as my brother was to hold this meeting, 
when he got a little way in his subject, Samuel came in. It af 
fected my brother so he could hardly collect himself. 

Through a vision, while awake, Rebecca saw a woman she was 
to emulate. "In this great struggle of fasting, praying, and crying to 
God to know His will concerning me from day to day, all at once I 
saw a woman step before me. . . . And it was spoken in my heart, 
'This is the way I want you to walk and to dress and when you are as 
you ought to be, you will look like this woman and be like her/ So I 
was strengthened, and my soul much comforted. I soon found that 
she was sent from God to teach me the way of truth and lead me into 
the way of holiness and in God's own appointed time I would over 
take her/' 

In 1836 Rebecca visited a Shaker commtinity for the first time, 
and was reminded of the vision. 

... the Shakers was dressed like the woman I followed 
three years who showed me how to walk through the world 
without looking right or left. She walked straightforward, and 
so did the Shakers. I had never seen anybody before that 
looked like her, and I never saw any people before that I loved 
as I loved this people . . . 

Among the realizations which Rebecca shared about her 
dreams were these: "I fell asleep and dreamt this dream . . . there was 
angels in the room. I was under great power, and I had presents 

given to me by the angels And I woke and found my hearing and 

understanding and knowledge of spiritual things increased." 

... A white man took me by my right hand and led me . . . 
where sat a square table. On it lay a book open. And he said to 
me, "Thou shall be instructed in this book, from Genesis to 

In so describing a dream which occurred in January of 1836, 
Rebecca was then shown two other books by the man, and each was 
in a different place in the room. At the site of the second book, he told 

Ascetics, Ecstatics, and Seekers 63 

her: 'Tea, them shall be instructed from the beginning of creation to 
the end of time/ 7 And at the third, he said: "I will instruct thee yea, 
thou shall be instructed from the beginning of all things to the end of 
all things. Yea, thou shall be well instructed. I will instruct/' 

He was dressed all in light drab His countenance was 
serene and solemn and divine 

And then I awoke, and I saw him as plain as I did in my 
dream. And after that he taught me daily. And when I would 
be reading and come to a hard word, I would see him standing 
by my side and he would teach me the word right. And often, 
when I would be in meditation and looking into things which 
was hard to understand, I would find him by me, teaching 

and giving me understanding And oh, his labor and care 

which he had with me often caused me to weep bitterly, when 
I would see my great ignorance and the great trouble he had to 
make me understand eternal things 

Concerning her spiritual tasks, Rebecca said: "The Lord has 
called me to call sinners to repentance, and on my obedience to that 
call depends my eternal salvation. ..." 

Among the abilities by which she was fortified for that mission 
were preaching with power, prophesying, and controlling the 
weather and people. On one occasion while working with a group, 
she noted, "Nothing appeared to be hid from my spiritual eyes, 
whether of thought, deed or word, whether I was absent or present 
... the Lord laid open their hearts from their childhood up to that 

"I have learned obedience by the things I have suffered, and it is 
sweet to my soul," Rebecca affirmed. 

As she performed her spiritual tasks and devotional activities 
in obedience to the will of God, she realized "flowings of the spirit of 
God" in her soul: joy, love, and "flowing of the spirit of peace." 

With disobedience to these came anguish, grief, confusion, ill 
ness, cloudiness, and darkness. 

Expressing her unwavering commitment to the path she had 
chosen, Rebecca wrote, "When I saw God, heard His voice, and un 
derstood what His will was concerning me, I lost sight of my 
brother, husband, and all of my people by nature, for I would not 
displease God to gratify my self in anything, no, nor any other per 
son on earth. ..." 

64 Company of Prophets 

Rebecca Cox Jackson, an ecstatic, was born in freedom in 1795, 
in the area of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 

They were startled that day in 1955 when she brought the appli 
cation home. And in the wake of their disquietude, dreams churned, 
and their minds shaped protests that rolled straight off their 

That she had always wanted to be a nun, and had often re 
minded them, did not diminish the shock. It was hard for her par 
ents to look over and see a postulant's desire in their very social 
child. Of their three, she was the one who really enjoyed people and 
was given to diversion. Her promises to pursue her goal declara 
tions brought from her mother a standard, light teasing reply: "Until 
the next telephone call!" 

Barbara Jean La Rochester, a native of Brooklyn, New York, 
soon after joined the apostolic order of the Sisters of Nazareth in 
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania when she was twenty-two. And the 
substance of her former identity was subjugated by spiritual disci 
pline and the practice of spiritual devotion. 

Yet, her new life, by way of her duties, fully immersed her in the 
physical world. Barbara found an abundance of earthly communica 
tion in teaching and childcare, work she loved. And she traveled, 
throughout the city and its adjoining localities, in service. 

"I was drawn toward prayer and solitude in the midst of all the 

In 1972, Barbara decided to join the Carmelite Order in Balti 
more, Maryland. As a Carmelite nun she would have virtually no 
contact with the outer world. Cloister is only broken in the Order for 
habitual food and clothing shopping, school, and infrequent work 
shops for "nourishment of spiritual life/' This change unsettled her 
family again and it was a struggle to gain their understanding. 

Barbara's work is currently the activity of vocal and mental 
prayer, the role of a Carmelite nun. "I feel I have been gifted with a 
tremendous gift, and I am about sharing it. I know that I am called to 
love, and that I experience that love more than others/' 

Additional tasks for her at the monastery are the instructing of 
others in prayer, and the giving of spiritual direction. She acknowl- 

Ascetics, Ecstatics, and Seekers 65 

edges the latter as an innate ability. Her good-listener attributes date 
back to her adolescent years when schoolmates sought her advice. 
In her life of self-sacrifice and incessant prayer, Barbara speaks 
of "dry points' 7 but of no regrets. "I do the best I can from day to 
day/ 7 Sometimes in prayer, she "gets caught up in the Lord/ 7 She ex 
plains, "I know when I experience the Lord, that is real. I have expe 
rienced that the Lord is with me/ 7 

Tracing his sudden awakening as a sculptor, William Ed- 
mondson told author Edmund L. Fuller that God spoke to him. from 
the head of the bed like a "natural man. He talked so loud He woke 
me up. He told me He had something for me/ 74 

The message was clarified in the following week: "I was out in 
the driveway with some old pieces of stone when I heard a voice tell 
ing me to pick up my tools and start to work on a tombstone. I looked 
up in the sky and right there in the noon daylight He hung a tomb 
stone out for me to make/ 7 

"Edmondson became totally immersed in his love for his 'heav 
enly daddy 7 , as he called his God, 77 observed Fuller in his book, Vi 
sions in Stone. 

At one time, the artist told Fuller, "I knowed it was God telling 
me what to do. God was telling me to cut figures. First He told me to 
make tombstones; then He told me to cut figures. He gave me them 
two things/ 7 

God gave commands which Edmondson obeyed, even if the 
sculptor's faith would occasionally waver. "The Lord told me to cut 
something once and I said to myself I didn't believe I could. He 
talked right back to me: 'Yes you can/ He told me. 

"It's wonderful, 77 said Edmondson, "when God gives you 
something you've got it for good, and yet you ain't got it. You got 
to do it and work for it. God keeps me so busy He won't let me stop 
to eat sometimes. It ain't got much style. God don't want much style. 
But He gives you wisdom and speeds you along." 

Edmondson's career as a sculptor was more than fifteen years 
long. His first work was in the carving of tombstones which he gave 
away or sold. Later, his yard, as described by Fuller, "became filled 
with 'miracles' that were not tombstones: preachers, women, doves, 

66 Company of Prophets 

turtles, angels, rabbits, rams, horses, and other 'critters' and 'mir 
acles 7 that often deify identification as well as imagination/ 7 

What he saw or heard from the Lord provided most of the sub 
ject matter for his creations. He said that his ideas came also from the 
things he saw in the sky; ". . . you can't see them, but I can see them/' 
Sometimes people made suggestions like his sister, Sarah, who 
asked why he didn't have angels. He began carving them after that. 

The material which Edmondson used for sculpting was lime 
stone. God had said to him, "Will, cut that stone ... and it better be 
limestone, too/ 7 His stone was from construction and demolition 
projects. It had all been used previously for other purposes. His tools 
were the type used by handymen. His instructions in stonecarving 
were the divine commands he received. 

He never participated in any kind of formal education. The art 
ist was well into his fifties when he started carving. His stepniece, 
Mary Brown, recalled that he took on the work in either 1931 or 1932. 
"I think things just came to him. About this stonecutting, he got up 
one morning and just said he was going to cut some stone. A voice 
spoke to him just like that Martin Luther King (Jr.) said up on that 
mountain. He said he wasn't going to work anymore, just get my 
hammer and my chisel and cut away on some stones 7/ 

During his lifetime, Edmondson had worked at many jobs a 
railroad hand, hospital janitor and orderly, shoemaker, servant, and 

In working with stone, Edmondson perceived himself as "just 
doing the Lord's work. I didn't know I was no artist till them folks 
come told me I was/ 7 

He reflected on his creative ability, too, and said: "This here 
stone and all those out there in the yard come from God. It's the 
work of Jesus speaking His mind in my mind. I must be one of His 
disciples. These here is miracles I can do. Can 7 t nobody do these but 
me. I can't help carving. I just does it. It's like when you're leaving 
here, you're going home. Well, I know I'm going to carve. Jesus has 
planted the seed of carving in me." 

Approximately five years after Edmondson began sculpting, 
he was recognized by the art world. During his lifetime there were 
museum exhibits, public acclaim as well as sales. As a "modern 
primitive" artist, he was honored with a one-man show at the New 
York Museum of Modern Art the first African American artist to 
receive that recognition. Despite these activities, he did not have 

Ascetics, Ecstatics, and Seekers 67 

broad public recognition as an artist in his lifetime. However, in re 
cent years, there has been a revival of interest in his work. 

Edmondson was employed for a while under the 1930' s Works 
Projects Administration Federal Art Project. This involvement 
pleased him very much. "Wouldn't that jolt you now? All the WPA 
and fine folk spreading this Lord's work around so children can 
learn wisdom. Wisdom, that's what the Lord give me at birth, but I 
didn't know it till He came and told me about it." 

Born in Nashville, Tennessee around 1883, Edmondson was 
one of George and Jane Edmondson's six children. Both parents had 
been slaves. 

Clarence Ellerbee's brother-in-law unexpectedly was called 
upon to speak a few words before the congregation. A stutterer, he 
faced the gathering, ill at ease and uninspired. 

Suddenly, from where she sat among the people, Mother Es- 
telle Ellerbee jumped up, extending her hands to him. The power 
flowed from her body to his. He then gave a stirring sermon, though 
he was neither prepared nor trained. He did not once stutter; and he 
never hesitated, as he spoke with power. 

Later, he said, as her energy touched him, it rushed right 
through him. His mind was cleared and he felt great calm. When the 
words came through him, he knew he controlled them. He felt heart 
ened, and very much reassured of his own worth. 

There are others to whom Mother Ellerbee has transferred the 
Spirit of God, as she describes it, enabling them to speak with 
authority, sing with intensity, or help in healing. She stretches out 
her hands toward them or catches their hands in hers, affirms 
Clarence, her son. 

When Clarence's young coworker met Mother Ellerbee, the 
Spirit of God jumped in her, and she gave him a message. Catching 
the young man's hands, she transferred power to him, telling him 
to take it to his mother who was ill, as it would help to heal her. 
The young man was stunned that energy was penetrating his body. 
He followed the instructions, and noticed later his mother was 

One evening, in 1968, while Clarence was in Georgia, doing his 

68 Company of Prophets 

basic training in the Army, he talked with his mother by telephone. 
She asked him to speak to the men in the barracks about God that 
evening. Flashing through his mind were thoughts about the poten 
tial difficulties in such an effort, differences among the men, their 
ethnic backgrounds, cultural and religious beliefs. He felt reticent. 
He would need also his commanding officer's permission. 

She sent the Spirit of God through the telephone, and it im 
parted courage to him, and his mind was flooded with inspiration. 
In this state, Clarence spoke to the captain who simply answered, 
"What took you so long?" He made the men get out of bed to listen to 
Clarence. They were all attentive and respectful. Some asked ques 
tions, some requested to be taught how to pray, or to understand 
the Bible. 

With the rest of his company, Clarence soon afterwards re 
ceived an order to go to Vietnam; but Mother Ellerbee said, " You are 
not going/' So he told her again he had official orders to go, but she 
repeated, he would not go. There was the Power of God flowing 
from her through the telephone as they talked, Clarence recalls. On 
the night before departure, his C.O. told him, "You are not going to 
Vietnam. You are staying here in Georgia for the next seventeen 
months/' All of the other men in the company were sent to Vietnam. 

Mother Ellerbee has visions of Jesus. Once He said to her, point 
ing to a statue of the Virgin Mary, "Go to my mother/' The Virgin 
Mary has been a guide to her, giving her messages, and instructing 
her use of the rosaries, although Mother Ellerbee is Pentecostal. She 
has seen John the Baptist, angels come and sing to her, and she some 
times travels to the "Other Side." 

Mother Ellerbee has been called a major prophet. At prayer 
services she uses her gift of foreknowledge, picking up on the minds 
of people to help them resolve problems in their lives. When she is 
with people in a service, and the visions happen, some have felt the 
atmosphere growing warmer, a change in the vibratory rate of the 
space, and a sense of upliftment. When she sees death entering indi 
viduals, she prays, and sometimes death loosens up and the person 
has more time. 

A speaker in tongues, she also does interpretation in tongues. 
In other ecstatic moments, she has spoken different languages, such 
as French, Hebrew, and the language of ancient Egypt all later 

Mother Ellerbee's gift of healing has always been strong; so is 

Ascetics, Ecstatics, and Seekers 69 

her desire to be of service through this gift. She has worked with 
people with afflictions that are physical, emotional, and spiritual in 
nature. Many have been healed or have improved. A ten-year-old 
boy, whom she foresaw as doing God's work later in his life, suf 
fered from epilepsy, with two or three seizures a month. After she 
laid hands on him, his physician began lowering the strength of his 
medication at each visit, since he was having no seizures at all. Con 
siderable time has now passed since he has had a seizure of any 

In her preaching, prophesying, and healing, Mother Ellerbee is 
fulfilling her promise to God that she would serve after she was 
cured of a terminal illness in 1964. 

Although material means must be employed in the pro 
duction of music, music is actually spiritual in nature, and its 
message is addressed to the soul. I became aware of this truth 
long ago, together with the other truth that goes hand in hand 
with it. That is that the voice of inspiration is the voice of God, 
and the soul of man must first hear it before its message may 
be transferred to the intellect. Anyone who wishes to hear the 
voice of inspiration clearly must be in accord with its posses 
sor, and he may attain this accord through prayer. 5 

Mississippi-born composer William Grant Still went on to con 
vey his thoughts on serving God. 

"Music shouldn't only appeal to the vanity of the person who 
writes it/' he maintained. "It should serve others just as religion 
serves mankind, by helping people to live better lives and by giving 
them even if only for an instant a glimpse of real inspiration/' 

These insights are expressed in the book, William Grant Still and 
the Fusion of Cultures in American Music, edited by Robert Bartlett 

While in his twenties, Still made a promise to use whatever tal 
ent God had given him in His service. He then perceived that the 
way for him to serve God best was through using his talents in music 
to serve all people. 

"Billy's constant prayer had been that God would make it pos 
sible for the music he had written to be heard and that the music, in 
turn, would bless all who heard it/ 7 recalled the composer's wife, 

70 Company of Prophets 

> 6 

Verna Arvey, in her book In One Lifetime. 6 

Early in his career, Still determined that his musical individual 
ity was important to his task here on earth. He must have an integ 
rity about, and fidelity to, his own musical personality, even when it 
meant opposition and economic hardship, and the delaying of his 
spiritual goal. 

The book edited by Haas reflects Still's belief that every com 
poser should strive to manifest his own personality in music. 

There is a tendency in all the arts toward the new, the 
sensational, the cerebral, rather than the beautiful and the 
worthwhile. It is important to have the new, sensational prod 
ucts, but it's important to have beauty too. How can we afford 
to emphasize one more than the other? . . . 7 

Anyone who underestimates the great value of differ 
ences would do well to remember that life would indeed be 
dull without variety. Progress would be impossible if all 
thought alike. It follows, then, that everyone should work to 
ward variety, each individual expressing himself, particularly 
if he has decided to enter the creative field. He should begin 
by analyzing himself and his capabilities, in order to learn 
whether he is really doing or will be doing what he really 
wants to do. 

That Still felt supported by spiritual forces in his work, and in 
his decision to be himself, is revealed by Arvey in her book. In 1926, 
he wrote of a dream which conveyed this support to him. 

"I beheld a host of angels. They approached me like a mighty 
cloud and sang a song of overwhelming beauty; one that I have been 
unable to remember though I am a musician, and usually retain with 
ease any melody that appeals to me. As the angels sang, I broke into 
tears and awoke to find myself sobbing with joy . //8 In speaking of the 
dream later, he said the angels in it were black. 

Arvey told of other dream-like incidents. "He saw an owl who 
talked to him and the time later when he was lying on a bed, half- 
asleep and half-awake, and saw a faceless being clothed in white 
entering the room. The Being told him to get up and when he did so, 
he looked back and saw himself still lying on the bed. The Being 
showed him wonderful symbols, such as lush green foliage, crystal 
clear water, and then explained the meaning of each symbol/' From 
this experience, Still was almost overpowered by a feeling of 

Ascetics, Ecstatics, and Seekers 71 

"Having consciously allied himself with God and with His con 
structive forces on earth, these experiences indicated to Still that he 
had chosen the right course, so he went ahead with confidence. On 
his subsequent scores, he inscribed: 'With humble thanks to God, 
the Source of inspiration/ " his former wife related. 

There were dreams in which' the composer was encouraged by 
their prophetic content. In one instance he dreamed of his grand 
mother. "She seemed to be trying to impress on his consciousness 
the words, 'Watch February 5th/ " Arvey recalled. The dream so im 
pressed Still that he greatly anticipated that day's arrival. However 
the day came and passed uneventfully. "A few days later, he re 
ceived a letter written and mailed in New York on February 5th, in 
viting him to compose the theme music for the (1939) Fair/' 

Still knew the manifestation of answered prayer. As recorded 
by Arvey, "His prayers were answered in a most remarkable way. 
There came a time when, at the major performances, there would 
seem to be a spiritual bond between the music and the audiences. It 
seemed to be a living, tangible thing. Billy, conducting, felt it. When 
sometimes I played the piano part, I felt it. The audiences certainly 
felt it, for often there would be a hushed silence, and a huge ovation, 
of a different quality than we had known before." 

William Grant Still was born in Woodville, Mississippi in 1895. 
Regarded as the Dean of American Negro Composers, he was the 
first African American to write a symphony which was performed, 
and the first to have an opera produced by a major American com 
pany. Also among his achievements, he was the first African Ameri 
can to conduct a major symphony orchestra in the United States. As 
a composer of serious music in America, he is considered to be 
among the finest. 

"She said she never ventured only where God sent her." 9 This 
was the guiding principle of her successful mission in leading slaves 
north to their freedom, as explained by Harriet Tubman to Thomas 
Garrett, a Quaker supporter. 

" 'Twan't me, 'twas de Lord!" Tubman exclaimed another time. 
It was an expression of her total reliance upon God to bring her 
safely through the perilous trips to and from the South with fugi- 

72 Company of Prophets 

lives from slavery. 

She had often said to Garrett that she " talked with God and He 
talked with her everyday of her life/ 7 

Recorded in Sarah Bradford's book, Harriet Tubman: The Moses 
of Her People, are the remarks of some of the supporters and wit 
nesses of Tubman's activities on how they knew of her faith in God. 
Bradford described Tubman's prayer as "the prayer of faith/' and 
made note of the former slave's confident expectation of help when 
ever she prayed. That she had escaped cleverly designed traps, or 
that incredible physical obstacles were removed from the route to 
freedom did not amaze her, and neither did the sudden availability 
of provisions, monies, and supporters along the way. Her faith in 
God allowed for all these things to occur. For as she told Bradford, 
"when she felt a need, she simply told God of it, and trusted Him to 
set the matter right/' 

She spoke to Garrett of one trip in which there were changes in 
the route. "She said that God told her to stop, which she did; and 
then (she) asked Him what she must do. He told her to leave the 
road, and turn to the left; she obeyed and soon came to a small 
stream of tide water; there was no boat, no bridge; she again in 
quired of her Guide what she was to do. She was told to go through. 
It was cold, in the month of March; but having confidence in her 
Guide, she went in; the water came up to her armpits; the men re 
fused to follow till they saw her safe on the opposite shore/ 7 

After wading through a second stream, the party came upon a 
cabin, and the inhabitants provided them with housing and comfort 
for that night. Later Tubman and the escapees learned that the mas 
ters of the men had set a trap along their route and offered a large 
reward for the capture of their slaves. That ensnarement had been 
avoided through the change in plans. 

Garrett recalled another occasion when Tubman came to his 
store. He had not seen her for three months. 

I said, "Harriet, I am glad to see thee! I suppose thee 
wants a pair of new shoes/' Her reply was, "I want more than 
that." I, in jest, said, "I have always been liberal with thee, and 
wish to be; but I am not rich, and cannot afford to give much/' 
Her reply was: "God tells me you have money for me/' I asked 
her if God never deceived her. She said, "No!" "Well! how 
much does thee want?' After studying a moment/ she said: 
"About twenty-three dollars." I then gave her twenty-four 

Ascetics, Ecstatics, and Seekers 73 

dollars and some odd cents, the net proceeds of five pounds 
sterling received through Eliza Wigham, of Scotland, for 
her That was the first money ever received by me for her. 
Some twelve months later, she called on me again, and said 
that God told her that I had some money for her ... I had, a few 
days previous received . . . one pound ten shillings from Eng 
land for her. 

Through the voice she knew as the voice of God, and through 
visions, dreams, and f orewarnings, Tubman was led where to go or 
what to avoid. A vision which came to her one night in 1860 caused 
her great joy. 

She rose singing, "My people are free! My people are 
free!" She came down to breakfast singing the words in sort of 
ecstasy. She could not eat. The dream or vision filled her 
whole soul, and physical needs were forgotten. 

Her host, Reverend Henry Garnett, told her that his grandchil 
dren might see the day of emancipation, but neither he nor she 
would. She insisted then that they would see it soon, and repeated: 
"My people are free!" Three years later, while others celebrated the 
news of the Emancipation Proclamation, Tubman's composure 
about the event was observed. She responded to inquiries with: "I 
had my jubilee three years ago. I rejoiced all I could den; I can't re 
joice no more." 

Of the more than three hundred people she conducted to free 
dom, none was ever recaptured while under her supervision. 

Born on a plantation in Maryland in 1820, Tubman appropri 
ated her freedom in 1849. 

Delivered from thoughts of race, religion, or creed, from the 
moment of her birth she loved all human beings. "I was born with 
the Holy Spirit," claims Beatrice Hardaman, a native of 
Montgomery County, Alabama. Born in 1906, one of eight children, 
God first spoke to her through a chestnut rosebud when she was 
very young. "When I was a child I used to travel with my mother. 
Tie my hands on to her apron strings. She would take me when she 
didn't take any of the others." 

74 Company of Prophets 

At sixteen, she decided she had to do what God wanted her to 
do. "I've had to suffer in order for God to reveal to me what he 
wanted. You can't take a gift, just pull that gift, and do it yourself. 
You've got to suffer; and when you suffer you know what that gift is, 
and it means so much to you/' Over the years, she married, had a 
son, and taught school. When her grandchildren came, she helped in 
raising them. 

She counsels, "God will take something that a person doesn't 
want." She helps in physical and spiritual healing. "If a person has 
the power to be healed, he can be healed in a special moment." 

"I meditate, and there is the power of Almighty God. Then He 
talks to me." 

Beatrice resides in Birmingham, Alabama. She is a counselor, 
healer, and an active community worker. Embracing people of all 
ages who come to her in need, she says with commitment, "I've got 
so many children. All of them are my children." 

Jean Toomer, born in 1894, was a writer of fiction, poetry, and 
metaphysical compositions. His dedication in life was to spiritual 
evolvement, his own and in assisting others in their spiritual evolve- 
ment. He saw human suffering as stemming from the disharmony 
within each person, an imbalance within, and the individual's iden 
tification with a "false self." 

He felt inner harmony could be achieved; and in that state of 
higher consciousness, knowing one's true identity, one could tran 
scend earthly existence and thereby assume one's proper relation 
ship with God and the whole universe. 

In The Wayward and the Seeking: A Collection of Writings by Jean 
Toomer, edited by Darwin Turner, he developed this idea. 

Because of my personal experience, my ups and downs, 
my I-am-I states, and my I-am-nothing states, I was fairly well 
convinced that in man there was a curious duality an "I," a 
something that was not I; an inner being, an outer personality. 
I was further convinced that the inner being was the real 
thing, that the outer personality was the false thing, that the 
"I" was the source of life, that the personality was the sack of 
poison. The question was how to bring man together into an 
integrated complete whole. My answer was increasing the 
"I" while at the same time eliminating the personality. 10 

Ascetics, Ecstatics, and Seekers 75 

In his autobiographical work, Exile into Being, and the notes of 
March 12, 1939, Toomer further defined the "inner being/' Referring 
to it as "essence," he described it as that "which is undying, which 
has lived before and will live again, which passes in and out of life 
but never passes out of existence/' 11 

Perceiving one of the difficulties which the spiritual being 
might have in trying to maintain its true identity while living in a 
body on earth, Toomer wrote of his own personal intuition. "Before 
entering the womb I prayed, 'Lord, may I remember who I am/ My 
birth-cry, correctly interpreted, meant 'I have forgotten/ " 12 

Toomer had an experience in 1926 during which he realized a 
higher state of consciousness. He, the spiritual being, achieved sepa 
ration from the physical body, and was emancipated for a time from 
the influences of earth. A description of the occurrence is given in 
The Lives of Jean Toomer: A Hunger for Wholeness by Cynthia Earl Ker- 
man and Richard Eldridge. 

One evening on the platform of the Sixty-sixth Street El 
station in New York . . . Toomer suddenly had a feeling of in 
ner movement, as if some other power had taken over within 
him. Gradually, something like a soft light seemed to unfold 
from just behind and inside his body and to shape itself into a 
new body, a new form enveloping his physical body. "This 
was no extension of my personal self, no expansion of my or 
dinary awareness. I awoke to a dimensionally higher con 
sciousness. Another being, a radically different being, became 
present and manifesting/' ... He still felt identified with his 
everyday self, but he could clearly see both as if from outside. 
But the next step was a shift of identification a change in lo 
cation but without movement. . .."... I was being freed from 
my ego-prison. I was going to a strange incredible place 
where I belonged/' . . . His ordinary self, with its feelings, de 
sires, and confusions, had disappeared for the duration of the 
experience. Yet within his new larger consciousness, his 
awareness of sensations and use of faculties remained 13 

His body . . . seemed small and removed from him, no 
longer identified with the "I" ... His being towered above the 
platform and the streets: "I saw the dark earth, and it seemed 
remote, far down and removed from the center of the uni 
verse, a small globe on the outskirts. . . . Not only was I not of 
that world, I could not feel myself even to be within its 
boundaries." Somehow, feeling that he was an intrinsic part 
of the extended universe, he also could closely observe the 
people walking mechanically over the earth's surface ... as if 

76 Company of Prophets 

they were robots. He then felt cut off even from his own body, 
as if he had died: "It seems I was in the illimitable reservoir of 
life before it is poured into moulds. . ." 

Toomer was in that state of consciousness for about two weeks. 

He found the teachings and techniques of George Gurdjieff 
compatible with his own philosophy on the attaining of higher 
states of consciousness. Introduced in 1923 to Gurdjieffs philo 
sophical system called the Fourth Way, Toomer became a teacher of 
the system after studying in New York, and then with Gurdjieff in 
Europe in 1924. Using the system, he led groups at different times in 
his life. 

According to Toomer, "We do not exist so as to live this life to 
the full; we live this life so as to exist to the full, so as to Be." 14 

"These are some of the Lord's doings, and they are 
marvelous/' 15 declared Amanda Smith in An Autobiography, Amanda 

In 1855 1 was very ill. Everything was done for me that 
could be done One day my father said to me, " Amanda, 
my child, you know the doctors say you must die; they can do 
no more for you, and now my child you must pray/' 

O, I did not want to pray, I was so tired and wanted to 
sleep In the afternoon of the next day after the doctor had 
given me up, I fell asleep ... or I seemed to go into a kind of 
trance or vision, and I saw on the foot of my bed a most beauti 
ful angel. It stood on one foot, with wings spread looking me 
in the face and motioning me with the hand; it said "Go back," 
three times 

Then, it seemed, I went to a great Camp Meeting and 
there seemed to be thousands of people, and I was to preach 
and the platform I had to stand on was up high above the peo 
ple. . . . How I got on it I don't know, but I was on this platform 
with a large Bible opened and I was preaching. ... I suppose I 
was in this vision about two hours. When I came out of it I was 
decidedly better. 

One of the first things I discovered after I came into the 
blessed light and experience of full salvation was a steady and 
appropriating faith that I never realized before. I always be 
lieved the Bible and all the promises, but I did not seem to 

Ascetics, Ecstatics, and Seekers 77 

have the power to appropriate the promises to my soul's 
need; but after the light broke in and my darkness had fled, 
power was given me not only to believe the promises, but to 

appropriate them 

I would read the promises ... I took hold of them and 
wrapped them round me and walked up and down in posses 
sion of the land. All things are yours, and ye are Christ's and 
Christ is God's 

The Reverend Mrs. Amanda Smith spent her lifetime in 
evangelical preaching and religious teaching in an era when women 
found no easy acceptance in this calling. 

One night ... I had a good religious paper in my hand, 
which had a good sermon in it and some experiences. I said I 
will take this and give it to someone. ... On the boat a nice 
looking lad sat just opposite me, and as I looked at him the 
Spirit said, "Give him that paper." I got up and handed it to 
him. He took it and threw it underneath the bench. ... I lifted 
my heart in prayer and said, "Now, Lord, if there is anything 
in that paper that Thou dost want that young man to know, 
make him pick it up . Lord, don't let him go out, make him pick 
up that paper." I continued to pray, and we were nearing the 
shore. I saw the fellow was very restless. O, how I did beg the 
Lord to make him pick it up. I felt it had a word for him. Just as 
the boat struck the dock, he stooped down and picked up the 
paper and put it in his pocket and ran away. Just then the 
grand old text came: "If ye shall ask anything in My name, I 
will do it." 

As the Lord led, I followed, and one day as I was praying 
and asking Him to teach me what to do I was impressed that I 
was to leave New York and go out . . . He gave me these words: 
"Go, and I will go with you." I said, "Lord, I am willing to go, 
but tell me where to go and I will obey Thee"; and clear and 
plain the word came, "Salem!" I said, "Salem! why, Lord, I 
don't know anybody in Salem. O, Lord, do help me, and if this 
is Thy voice speaking to me, make it plain where I shall go." 
And again it came, "Salem." 

. . . O, how I was tested to the very core in every way. My 
rent was five dollars a month, and I wanted to pay two 
months before I went. I prayed and asked the Lord to help me 
to do this. It was wonderful how He did. I needed a pair of 
shoes. I told the Lord I was willing to go with the shoes I had if 
He wanted me to, but they were broken in the sole, and I said: 
"... if it is Thy will to get the shoes, either give me some work 
to do, or put it in the heart of somebody to give me the money 

78 Company of Prophets 

to get the shoes." And these words came from God to my 
heart: "If thou canst believe; all things are possible to him that 
believeth." And I said, "Lord, the shoes are mine/'. . . I claimed 
them by faith . . . O, how true that blessed promise "What 
things so ever ye desire when ye pray, believe that ye receive 
them and ye shall have them." 

. . . We had a good prayer and testimony meeting ... I 
told them the Lord had told me I was to go to Salem, and I was 
going, and I had only come to say, "How do you do and good 
bye/'. . . As dear old Father Brummell passed out he said, 
"Good-bye, Sister Smith." He shook my hand and put some 
thing in it. I thanked him and put it in my pocket, and went 

home I put my hand in my pocket and took it out; there 

was one two dollar bill and three one dollar bills It was the 

first time I had that much money given me in my life Just 
then a voice whispered, "You know you prayed about your 

"O," I shouted, "Yes, Lord, I remember now. Praise the 

And I began to trust Him for temporal as well as spiri 
tual blessings as I had never done before. And, oh, how faith 
ful was my Lord. How He has blessed me, and all the little I 
have done for Him. 

. . . Then darkness came over me, and the joy and peace 
all seemed to be gone. I did not know what ailed me. So I set 
apart Friday to fast and pray, and find out the cause of this 
darkness I took my Bible and knelt down to pray. And I 
said: "Oh! Lord, show me what is the matter. Why is this dark 
ness in my mind? O! Lord, make it clear to me." And the Spirit 
seemed to say to me very distinctly, "Read." And I opened my 
Bible, and my eyes lighted on these words: "Perfect love cas- 
teth out fear. He that feareth has not been made perfect in 
love." Then I said: "Lord, if I am not, I will be now." Then I saw 
what was the matter. Fear! And I said: "Oh! Lord, take all the 
man-fearing spirit out of me. I thank Thee for what Thou hast 
done for me, but deliver me from fear. Take all the woman- 
fearing fear spirit out of me, and give me complete victory 
over this fear." And, thank the Lord, He did it. There was no 
especial manifestation, but there was a deep consciousness in 
my heart that what I had asked the Lord to do, He had done, 
and I praised Him . . . 

At various times, uneasy that Amanda might want to be 
ordained, men at church gatherings prepared to oppose her. "The 
thought of ordination had never once entered my mind, for I had 
received my ordination from Him, Who said, 'Ye have not chosen 

Ascetics, Ecstatics, and Seekers 79 

Me, but I have chosen you and ordained you, that you might go and 
bring forth fruit, and that your fruit might remain/ " 

Having been invited to preach by a minister in Salem, she stood 
in the pulpit for the first time, asserting her ordination by the Lord. 

. . . The church was packed and crowded. I began my talk 
from the chapter given, with great trembling. I had gone on 
but a little ways when I felt the spirit of the Lord come upon 

me mightily. Oh! how He helped me. My soul was free 

When I asked for persons to come to the altar, it was filled in a 
little while from the gallery and all parts of the house. 

A revival broke out It went from the colored people 
to the white people The whole lower floor would be cov 
ered with seekers old men, young men, old women, young 

women, boys and girls How He put His Seal on this first 

work to encourage my heart and establish my faith, that He 
indeed had chosen and ordained and sent me . . . 

And I said, "Praise the Lord. Is there anything too hard 
for God?" 

We were off to our open boats again to Monrovia. Out all 
night. Oh, how good the Lord is. A storm overtakes us and 
threatens us heavily. As I looked up to my Father, God, and 
called on Him to help us, He answered me speedily, and in a 
little while the wind seemed to subside and the clouds passed 

While I was praying ... I was led to pray, "Oh, Lord, put 
it into somebody's heart to build a railroad through this part 
of the country, so it will not be so hard for those who are iso 
lated to get the things they so often need/ 7 

. . . When I arose they laughed at me, and said, "You 
think we will have a railroad?" 

"Yes/' I said, "God will do it. You will see/' 

And it did come to pass in less than two years, after, that 
the East Indian Railroad Company put a railroad right 
through that section of the country. . . . 

Eight years I was in Africa ... I was pretty well scorched 
with fever, and as the days and nights went on, and nothing 
cool to drink, and no appetite to eat anything I could eat, I 
craved what I could not get ... 

So one night I prayed nearly all night, and asked the 
Lord to take all desire out of me for everything I could not get, 
and help me to like and relish just what I could get. ... I fell 
asleep, and woke . . . and every bit of desire for mutton chop, 
and rolls, and hard butter, and fresh cream was gone, and I 
was as free from the desire as if I had never had it. 

gO Company of Prophets 

Evangelist and singer, Amanda Berry Smith was born in 
January, 1837 in Maryland to slave parents, Samuel and Miriam 
Berry. She, her mother, and five siblings were eventually purchased 
by her father who earned enough money to free himself and them. 
Reverend Smith began her evangelistic work in October, 1870. In 
1873 she traveled to England, and continued to India; and in 1882, 
went on to Africa. She returned to the United States in 1890. 

"Draw or die!" said a voice in a vision. 16 

On Good Friday, 1935, Minnie Evans, then fifty-two years old, 
started drawing. She recalled: "I never did nothing so hard and as 
terrible as that in all my life. For hours I worked/ 7 From that day on, 
Minnie affixed her dreams and visions into the physical universe 
with crayons, pencils, watercolors, and oil paints. Religious and 
mystical themes were vividly presented through her drawings and 

Among the things her son George discussed with film makers 
Irving Saraf and Allie Light, in 1980, was his father's reaction to his 
mother's art. 

" 'Minnie's crazy/ her son recalled him saying. 'She's going 
crazy doing those things she's doing now/ And he used to try and 
take it away from her. I used to tell Pop, 'Leave her alone, let her go 
ahead and paint/ " 

Minnie confided in George, "This stuff I'm doing right now, I 
have dreams of the thing, and I feel God gave me this mission to do 
this/ 7 

Minnie contended she was trained by teachers whom she 
described as "not of the physical world. I'm without a teacher, a 
worldly teacher . . . God has sent me a teacher, an angel to stand by 
rne . . . (he) directs me what to do. Time for me to paint a picture, and I 
be tired. I say, Tm gonna rest up a couple of days/ He won't let me, 
come there and grab my feet and shake me, beat me on the feet. 
Scared me so bad one night I jumped out of bed and looked, thought 
some of the children had come in there. Nobody in the room, no 

"Sometime I just make a picture: it's wrong, I got to erase it out. 
Who tells me that picture's wrong? God tells me. Oh, I have erased 

Ascetics, Ecstatics, and Seekers 81 

one or two pictures completely out and put 'em down and wait till 
the next day to start working on 'em. Well, I paint, I just go until I just 
get nearly crazy, say, 'What on earth this picture be? 7 And I keep 
putting down something till after awhile they say, 'That's right/ 
Then I looks at the patterns again, then I got through with the 
picture, then He tells me I did right ... I have a very peculiar picture 
He likes/ 7 

When some of her first paintings fell apart because of age, 
Minnie was worried and didn't know what to do. "The angels spoke 
to me: Taste them on a board/ 1 said, 'Thank you. Thank you/ 1 had 
the boards ... I had the glue ... I got up the next morning and started 
to pasting them . . . and they're very pretty," 

In an earlier interview, she had said to film makers Allie and 
Irving, "I thank God for the gift. I told my mother, 'God had this 
planned out for me before you received me in the womb; God had 
that planned and was passed on to me. Just like that, God has a plan 
for you/' 

Minnie Evans was born in Fender County, North Carolina, on 
December 1, 1892. She spent most of her life in Wilmington, North 
Carolina. Her first art exhibit was in 1961. Since then her work has 
been shown at major museums and galleries in the United States, 
and has been exhibited in Europe. 

Zilpha Elaw was born to free parents in Pennsylvania around 
1790. After her mother's death, her father placed her with a Quaker 
family when she was twelve years old, and there she remained until 
she was eighteen. 

She began to attend Methodist meetings at fourteen, and at 
eighteen joined the Methodist Society. While part of a camp meeting 
in 1817, she had an experience which she said was either a trance or 
ecstasy. This she described in her book, Memoirs of the Life, Religious 
Experience, Ministerial Travels and Labours of Mrs. Zilpha Elaw, an 
American Female of Colour. 

Whether I was in the body, or whether I was out of the 
body, on that auspicious day, I cannot say; but this I do know, 
that at the conclusion of a most powerful sermon delivered by 
one of the ministers from the platform, and while the congre- 

82 Company of Prophets 

gation were in prayer, I became so overpowered with the 
presence of God, that I sank down upon the ground, and laid 
there for a considerable time; and while I was thus prostrate 
on the earth, my spirit seemed to ascend, up into the clear cir 
cle of the sun's disc; and, surrounded and engulphed in the 
glorious effulgence of his rays, I distinctly heard a voice speak 
unto me, which said, "Now thou art sanctified; and I will 
show thee what thou must do/' I saw no personal appearance 
while in this stupendous elevation, but I discerned bodies of 
resplendent light; nor did I appear to be in this world at all, but 
immensely far above those spreading trees, beneath whose 

shade and verdant bowers I was then reclined 17 

Before the meeting at this camp closed, it was revealed 
to me by the Holy Spirit that ... I must employ myself in visit 
ing families, and in speaking personally to the members 
thereof, of the salvation and eternal interests of their souls; 
visit the sick; and attend upon other of the errands and serv 
ices of the Lord 

Later in her life came Zilpha's awareness of extraphysical 
communication. "I have been lost in astonishment at the perception 
of a voice, which either externally or internally, has spoken to me, 
and revealed to my understanding many surprising and precious 
truths. I have often started at having my solitary, contemplative 
silence thus broken; and looked around me as if with the view of 
discovering or recognizing the ethereal attendant who so kindly 
ministered to me ... not indeed, with the slightest alarm, though 
with much wonder; for I enjoyed so intimate and heavenly an 
intercourse with God, that I was assured He had sent an angel to 
instruct me in such of His holy mysteries as were otherwise beyond 
my comprehension. Such communications were most gratifying 
and delightful to me/' 

In 1819, while uncertain about her recovery from a serious 
illness, Zilpha received a message: 

About twelve o'clock at night, when all was hushed to 
silence, a human figure in appearance, came and stood by my 
bedside, and addressed these words to me, 'Be of good cheer, 
for thou shalt yet see another camp-meeting; and at that meet 
ing thou shalt know the will of God concerning thee." I then 
put forth my hand to touch it, and discovered that it was not 
really a human being, but a supernatural appearance. I was 
not in the least alarmed, for the room was filled with the elorv 
of God.... 6 y 

Ascetics, Ecstatics, and Seekers 83 

At that camp meeting Zilpha said she heard "the same identical 
voice which had spoken to me on the bed of sickness many months 
before ... and (it) said, 'Now thou knowest the will of God 
concerning thee; thou must preach the gospel; and thou must travel 
far and wide/ " 

By following the directions of voices of "invisible and heavenly 
personages sent from God/' along with visions, dreams, and 
impressions, she continued to realize and expand her spiritual 
course. And through certain manifestations she knew when her 
actions were self-directed rather than God-willed. Once when 
confronted with obstacles which seemed insurmountable, she 
disowned her commission to preach, reducing it to imagination: 

. . . And in prayer I said to my heavenly master, in refer 
ence to my ministry, "Now I know I am mistaken: and I am 
not going out at all/ 7 

I had no sooner uttered these words, than a dreadful and 
chilling gloom instantaneously fluttered over and covered my 
mind; the Spirit of the Lord fled out of my sight, and left me in 
total darkness such darkness as was truly felt; so awful a 
sensation I never felt before or since. I had quenched the 
Spirit, and became like a tormented demon. I knew not what 
to do, for I had lost my spiritual enjoyments; my tongue was 
also silence, so that I was unable (to) speak to God ... I had no 
power whatsoever to preach 

The confirmatory evidence of the validity of her spiritual 
course was soon manifested. 

I sat in thoughtful meditation on the varied goodness of 
God towards me; and looking upwards, the Lord opened my 
eyes, and I distinctly saw five angels hovering above and en 
gaged in the praises of God; the raptures of my soul were too 
awful and ecstatic on that occasion for human description: the 
sensual world are unacquainted with the overwhelming fas 
cinations which thrill through every instinct of the spiritual 
mind under the complacent manifestation of ethereal intelli 
gences and their enchanting influences. I concluded that this 
wonderful manifestation was a token for good, and a proof 
that the Lord was well pleased with the course I had taken. 

She was sent deeply into the interior of slave-holding states to 
preach for extended periods. Sometimes she preached to slave and 

84 Company of Prophets 

slave-holder in the same assemblage. "Blessed for ever be the Lord, 
who sent me out to preach his gospel even in these regions of 
wickedness. He preserved me in my going out and my coming in; so 
that the production of the documents of my freedom was not once 
demanded during my sojourn on the soil of slavery/' 

Her first message regarding travel abroad came in 1828. 

Suddenly the Spirit came upon me, and a voice ad 
dressed me, saying, "Be of good cheer, and be faithful; I will 
yet bring thee to England and thou shalt see London, that 
great city, and declare my name there/' 

The second message of her destined trip to England came as 
part of a vision in 1837, and she embarked for England in 1840. 
There, as predicted by the Spirit, she preached, traveling to different 
regions of England to speak. 

Ere this work meets the eye of the public, I shall have so 
journed in England five years. ... I thank God He has given me 
some spiritual children in every place wherein I have 

Thomas Glover entered the Abbey of Our Lady of Gethesemani 
on December 9, 1949 and assumed the habit of a Trappist monk. He 
took a new name, Brother Josue. He stopped running from himself. 
Feeling he owed God everything, with this move Glover sacrificed 
his music as a gift to Him. 

Glover had known some success as a jazz musician/ playing the 
tenor saxophone with the King Kolax big band from 1943 through 
1946. He did solo performances and wrote some of the band 
arrangements. He had dreams of being great and famous. 

But in the Kentucky monastery, his life became one of silence. 
Speech was replaced by sign language, and the outside world could 
not invade by radio, television, newspaper, or magazine. His days 
were defined by prayer, meditation, manual labor, and theological 

When Marc Crawford of Ebony magazine interviewed Brother 
Josue in October, 1960 it was the first time in a decade that the monk 
had spoken with anyone from the outside world. 

Ascetics, Ecstatics, and Seekers 85 

Though it seems curious, I do not remember ever asking 
for anything but what I got it. And I always received it as an 
answer to my prayers. 18 

When sold as a slave for the second time during childhood, and 
removed from brutal mistreatment, Sojourner Truth, living in the 
first half of the 1800's, had no doubt that the event was an answer to 
her repeated prayer. She had appealed to God to help her father get 
her a new and better place. 

It was her custom, she claimed, to talk with God everyday. 
When she was about thirty years old, Sojourner spoke with Him 
about her master's deceit. Her owner had withdrawn his promise to 
give her freedom, but she was planning to leave, as described in her 
book, Narrative of Sojourner Truth: A Bondswoman of Olden Time. 

"Now," says I, "I want to git away; but the trouble's jest 
here; ef I try to git away in the night, I can't see; an 7 ef I try to git 
away in the day-time, they'll see me an' be after me." 

Then the Lord said to me, "Git up two or three hours 
afore daylight, an' start off." 

An' say I, "Thank'ee Lord! that's a good thought." 

So up I got about three o'clock in the mornin' an' I 
started an' traveled pretty fast . . . then I begun to think I didn't 
know nothin' where to go. So I kneeled down, and says I. 

"Well, Lord you've started me out, an' now please to 
show me where to go." 

"Then the Lord made a house appear to me, an' he said 
to me that I was to walk on till I saw that house, an' go in an' 
ask the people to take me in. An' I traveled all day, an' didn't 
come to the house till late at night; but when I saw it, sure 
enough, I went in, an' I told the folks that the Lord sent me; an' 
they was Quakers, an' real kind they was to me. 

Sojourner had been working for these people for a few months 
when one morning she told her employers that her old master, 
Dumont, would come that day, and that she was to go home with 
him. Surprised by her pronouncement, Sojourner's employers 
asked her how she knew. She replied her feelings told her he would 
come. Before night, Dumont arrived. 

On that same day, when Sojourner's employers bought her 

86 Company of Prophets 

services from her master, and he left without her, Sojourner gained a 
new awareness of God through a vision. 

Jest as I was goin' out to get into the wagon, I met God! 
an' says I, "O God, I didn't know as you was so great!" An' I 
turned right round an' come into the house, an' set down in 
my room; for 'twas God all around me. I could feel it bumin', 
burnin', burnin' all around me, an' goin' through me; an 7 1 saw 
I was so wicked, it seemed as ef it would burn me up. An' I 
said, "O somebody, somebody, stand between God an' me! 
for it burns me!" Then ... I felt as it were somethin' like an am- 
berill (umbrella) that came between me an' the light, an' I felt 
it was somebody somebody that stood between me an' God; 
an' it felt cool, like a shade; an' says I, "Who's this that stands 
between me an' God?" ... I begun to feel t'was somebody that 
loved me; an' I tried to know him . . . An' when I said, "I know 
you . . . " the light came; an' when I said, "I don't know you . . . 
" it went jes' like the sun in a pail o' water. An' finally some- 
thin' spoke out in me an' said, "This is Jesus!" An' I spoke out 
with all my might, an' says I, "This is Jesus! Glory be to God!" 
An' the whole world grew bright, an' the trees they waved an' 
waved in glory, an' every little bit o' stone on the ground 
shone like glass: and I shouted an' said, "Praise to the Lord!" 
An' I begun to feel sech a love in my soul as I never felt be 
fore love to all creatures. An' then, all of a sudden, it 
stopped, an' I said, "Dar's de white folks that have abused 
you, an 7 beat you, an' abused your people think of them!" 
But then there came another rush of love through my soul, an' 
I cried out loud "Lord, Lord, I can love even de white folks!" 

Sojourner explained that when she had the experience she 
"hadn't heerd no preachin' been to no meetin'. Nobody hadn't 
told me. I'd kind o' heerd of Jesus, but thought he was like Gineral 
Lafayette, or some o' them." 

One year after obtaining her freedom, Sojourner moved to New 
York City. In 1843 she left that city, directed by the Spirit, which, she 
said, told her to go east and preach. It was at this time she changed 
her name from Isabella. 

An 7 the Lord gave me "Sojourner," because I was to 
travel up an' down the land, showin' the people their sins, an' 
bein' a sign unto them . . . The Lord gave me Truth, because I 
was to declare the truth to the people. 

Ascetics, Ecstatics, and Seekers 87 

With deep spiritual conviction, Sojourner Truth committed her 
life to working for moral and social reform as an abolitionist and 
advocate of women's rights. 

A nurse with whom James Hampton shared a car pool was 
among those he invited to see his work, which he created in a garage, 
going there after his swing-shift job to toil through the early 
morning hours. So wrote Toby Thompson, reporter for the 
Washington Post Magazine, in an August 1981 description of 
Hampton's life. 

Hampton rented the garage in 1950 in which to do his project 
which he entitled, "The Throne of the Third Heaven of the Nations 
Millenium General Assembly/ 7 

In recalling her visits to see his art, nurse Otelia Whitehead 
said, "I felt the presence of some unknown force. I returned to visit 
Mr. Hampton a dozen occasions. No one could sit on the Throne, but 
he would permit you to approach it on your knees. I knelt before the 
Mercy Seat and it was like praying before a great altar/ /19 

Later, some people remembered him wandering the street of 
his neighborhood in Washington, D.C., picking up discarded 
objects. He was seen bringing home old furniture from junk dealers. 
All these pieces he collected for his work. 

He had visions which were actually visitations. Through them 
Moses, the Virgin Mary, and Adam appeared to him. God and they 
oversaw his work, he declared. 

He kept record of the visitations. "This is true that on October 2, 
1946, the great Virgin Mary and the Star of Bethlehem appeared over 
the nation's capital." His last known written observance about a 
vision stated, "This design is proof of the Virgin Mary descending 
into Heaven, November 2, 1950. It is also spoken of by Pope Pius 
XII." 20 

James Hampton was born in 1909 in South Carolina, and he 
moved to live with his brother in Washington, D.C. when he was 
nineteen years old. 

He worked on his project, which he considered his life, for 
fourteen years, dying before he completed it. The National Museum 
of American Art acquired "Throne" in 1964. The work has been 
loaned to various museums throughout the country. 

88 Company of Prophets 

Every sincere desire of the heart is true prayer and when 
this desire, or prayer, is formulated and given, the Principle 
(or an answer to prayer I prefer to say God), is immediately 
providing us with every step necessary to the perfect expres 
sion of this desire, or prayer; and our failure to receive these 
directions is due to ignorance or lack of faith, which causes 
our mind to become disturbed with doubts, fears, our reason 
ing mind arguing that it cannot be done. 21 

Garland Anderson, playwright, metaphysical lecturer, and 
author of From Newsboy and Bellhop to Playwright, spent most of his 
early life in San Francisco. In that city, over a period of fifteen years, 
he worked in various hotels as a bellhop; and was so employed 
when he wrote the play Appearances in 1925. 

When the desire came to me to write a play my first reac 
tion was "how absurd, with only four years schooling and no 
training, how could I ever hope to write a play/ 7 These and 
many other negative thoughts arose in my mind ... It dawned 
upon me that to suppress a desire to do something worth 
while in life could be likened to the outer shell of an acorn after 
it was planted . . . saying to that inner stir of life ... "What are 
you stirring around for, surely you don't expect to become a 
big oak tree, why, you are only the inside of a mere acorn, how 
could you ever expect to realize such a big desire?" God 
would never have given the acorn the desire to become a big 
oak tree without equipping it with the power for the full reali 
zation of this desire, and much less would He give man (cre 
ated in His own image and likeness) the power to desire to do 
something big in life without equipping him with the power 
for the full realization of the desire. 

With this idea firmly fixed in mind, it took three months 
to completely clear my consciousness of all the doubts, wor 
ries, and fear the disturbances which prevented a poised 
state of mind, necessary to receive the answer, which was al 
ways there but unable to manifest due to these disturbances. 
The minute I believed I had received, however, the ideas 
flowed normally and naturally; and while it took three 
months for me to clear my consciousness, it only took three 
weeks to write the play, which is positive proof that the fulfill 
ment comes with the desire, when the mind is poised in faith. 
The question might arise here, How did you know the 

Ascetics, Ecstatics, and Seekers 89 

technique of dramatic writing having never learned? And my 
answer is, of myself (intellectually) I knew nothing about 
technique but with faith in the presence of the principle of suc 
cess (of God Within) I knew all about it. 

Anderson's play opened on Broadway on October 13, 1925 and 
ran for three weeks. He was the first African American to have a play 
produced on Broadway. 

He later produced Appearances in Los Angeles, where it ran for 
five weeks, and in March, 1930 the play opened in London. 

"Go preach, tell it to the world! 7 ' 22 a voice told Gertrude Morgan 
when she was thirty-seven years old. 

Born in 1900 in Columbus, Georgia, she moved to New Orleans 
in 1939 and became a street-preacher. In addition to preaching, she 
sang, played her guitar and tambourines, raising money for the 
orphanage which she started with two other women. Jane 
Livingston and John Beardsley wrote of her life in their book Black 
Folk Art in America. 

Directed in 1957 through another vision, Sister Gertrude began 
dressing in white, a sign she had become "the bride of the Father and 
the Christ." 

"I did my missionary work in the Black Robe around eighteen 
years, teaching holiness and righteousness. That great work was so 
dear, He has taken me out of the Black Robe and crowned me out 
in white." 

In the 1960s, Sister Gertrude received another message: "The 
Lord told me to leave the streets, give up music, and find a new way 
to speak the gospel." 23 

She took up drawing and painting as a means to depict 
thoughts about her mission with God, and especially about the book 
of Revelations. There have since been national exhibitions of Sister 
Gertrude Morgan's art. 

90 Company of Prophets 

Howard Thurman sensed all beings and all life as joined into a 
single consciousness. "Life is One." 24 That creation had unity was a 
reality to him. He was aware of a matrix of all spirit, of which each 
living thing was a part, with each part containing the attributes of 
the whole God. 

Thurman, theologian and educator, wrote of many spiritual 
observations. Memories of certain childhood experiences early in 
this century nurtured and validated Thurman' s perception. These 
experiences were undoubtedly the seeding grounds of his theology. 

As a child I was accustomed to spend many hours alone 
in my rowboat, fishing along the river, when there was no 
sound save the lapping of the waves against the boat. There 
were times when it seemed as if the earth and the river and the 
sky and I were one beat of the same pulse. It was a time of 
watching and waiting for what I did not know yet I always 
knew. There would come a moment when beyond the single 
pulse beat there was a sense of Presence which seemed always 
to speak to me. My response to the sense of Presence always 
had the quality of personal communion. There was no voice. 
There was no image. There was no vision. There was God. 25 

There is a unity that binds all living things into a single 
whole Sometimes there is a moment of complete and utter 
identity with the pain of a loved one; all the intensity and an 
guish are felt. 26 

Such a moment was known to Thurman concerning his sister, 
Henrietta. "One morning as I opened the office windows, I had an 
overwhelming impulse to pray. As I prayed, the picture of Henrietta 
lying in bed with her eyes closed in suffering came to my mind. Soon 
I was praying for her, and I began to weep. Moments later, a 
messenger knocked on the door and handed me a telegram. It was 
from Mama telling me to come home at once, Henrietta was dying. 
By the time I arrived, she was dead/ 727 

Here, Thurman described that phenomenon in his own life, 
which he defined as the grace of God. 

Some years ago I was crossing the United States by the 
southern route. I had been advised to stop at San Antonio to 
see the Alamo. So, when the train stopped at noon for a half 
hour, I got off to look around. If I found myself interested, I 
could stay till the next train. At first, I thought I would not 
stay, but just as the conductor announced that the train was 

Ascetics, Ecstatics, and Seekers 91 

ready to go, in a split second I changed my mind. I ran into the 
car, took my topcoat and bag, and jumped off the slowly mov 
ing train, much to the consternation of the conductor. I caught 
the midnight train. The next day when the train to which I had 
transferred approached Yuma, Arizona, it slowed. Just off the 
track ahead were two huge engines just like two monsters that 
had been in a life-and-death struggle, and some fifteen or 
twenty steel cars twisted and turned over. Their sides had 
been cut open by acetylene torches so that the dead could be 
removed. That was the train that I had suddenly jumped off, 
several hours before. 28 

Howard Thurman was born in Daytona Beach, Florida in 1900. 
After completing his undergraduate studies at Morehouse College 
in Atlanta, Georgia, he went to Rochester Divinity School in New 
York to do his graduate studies in theology. In 1926, he served his 
first full-time pastorate at Mount Zion Baptist Church in Oberlin, 
Ohio. During his ministerial career, he was dean of Rankin Chapel at 
Howard University and dean of the chapel at Boston University. In 
San Francisco, he was co-founder and minister of The Church of the 
Fellowship of All People, whose membership is committed to 
sharing worship in a way that transcends racial, cultural, and social 

The imprisoned self seems to slip outside its boundaries 
and the ebb and flow of life is keenly felt. One becomes an in 
distinguishable part of a single rhythm, a single pulse. . . . And 
yet there always remains the hard core of the self, blending 
and withdrawing, giving and pulling back, accepting and re 
joicing, yielding and unyielding what may this be but the 
pulsing of the unity that binds all living things in a single 
whole the God of life extending Himself in the manifold glo 
ries of His creation? 29 

In a vision, when she was twelve, Elizabeth was told to "Call 
the people to repentance! " only years after the nation was founded. 

The presence of the Lord overshadowed me, and I was 
filled with sweetness and joy. ... In this way I continued for 

92 Company of Prophets 

about a year; many times while my hands were at my work, 
my spirit was carried away to spiritual things. 30 

Between her conversion experience and her forty-second year, 
the time when she fully engaged her vocation, Elizabeth had other 
visions. "I was often carried to distant lands and shown places 
where I should have to travel and deliver the Lord's message. Years 
afterwards, I found myself visiting those towns and countries that I 
had seen in the light as I sat at home at my sewing places of which I 
had never heard/' 

Born a slave in Maryland in 1766, Elizabeth was eleven when 
she was separated from her parents, sisters and brothers. Her master 
hired her out to another farmer and later sold her. She obtained her 
freedom when she was thirty years old. 

Her autobiography, Elizabeth, a Colored Minister of the Gospel, 
Born in Slavery, was recorded when she was ninety-seven years old. 

My entire being is strengthened daily through the trust I 
have in the teachings, the deeds, the philosophy of Jesus 
Christ. 31 

I am a part of a great, true, wonderful, sterling ideal, 
which has real presence within me and helps to keep me 
aware. This awareness is a fresh and flowing stream that goes 
with me, even as the bloodstream circulates to give me the 
. breath of life. The breath of spiritual life and the breath of 
physical life are one for me, and when I speak or think or act I 
have done so from this empowering presence which quickens 
my flesh and assures me that I have thought or spoken or 
acted in truth. 

Mary McLeod Bethune, educator and social and political 
organizer, was born in 1875. She was the fifteenth child of former 

It seems to me that every experience I have possesses 
meaning and significance. I can see the focus of that which 
happens to me upon the screen of my life and can understand 
that the messages are coming in to me, and they will be pre 
pared to go out from me as I seek to guide and lead and de 
velop people who need my help. Because of my rich experi- 

Ascetics, Ecstatics, and Seekers 93 

ences and because of my ability to meld these experiences into 
meaningful human truths, I am possessed of a greater faith, 
and can hold that faith for all people. 

Among her accomplishments were the founding of the 
Bethune-Cookman College in Daytona, Florida, and the organizing 
of the National Council of Negro Women. She had been an advisor 
to four presidents. 

Herein dwells the still small voice to which my spiritual 
self is attuned. I find, also, that I am equally sensitive to any 
outside obstructions that would mar this harmony or destroy 
this fortress. These inspirational vibrations are known to me 
as my inner voice. Therefore, as I come face to face with tre 
mendous problems and issues, I am geared immediately to 
these spiritual vibrations and they never fail me. The response 
is satisfying, though the demand may call for great courage 
and sacrifice. 

This power of faith which is my spiritual strength is so 
intimately a part of my mental and emotional life that I find 
integration and harmony ever present within me . . . and my 
happiness within is a fortress against doubt and fear and un 

To answer author Glenn Clark on how a clay with a color called 
"the lost purple of Egypt" was discovered, George Washington 
Carver said: 

"I talked with God one morning and He led me to it. And when 
I had brought my friends and we had dug it up, they wanted to dig 
farther, but I said, 'No need to dig farther. This is all there is. God told 
me/ And sure enough there was no more/ 732 

Most widely known for his research with the peanut plant and 
the development of multiple products from it, Carver was an 
agricultural scientist and educator. 

In Clark's book, The Man Who Talks with the Flowers, is described 
an informal gathering in 1935 at Tuskegee Institute where spiritual 
views were shared. Carver told the group, including Clark, of his 
relationship with God, and of his belief in divine revelation. 

''There is literally nothing that I ever wanted to do that I asked 
the blessed Creator to help me to do, that I have not been able to 

94 Company of Prophets 

accomplish/ 7 

He told them of his practice of getting up at four o'clock every 
morning, going to the woods and talking with God. He explained, 
God "gives me my orders for the day. Alone there with things I love 
most I gather specimens and study the great lessons Nature is so 
eager to teach us all. When people are still asleep I hear God best and 
learn my plan. ... I never grope for methods. The method is revealed 
the moment I am inspired to create something new. . . . After my 
morning's talk with God I go into my laboratory and begin to carry 
out His wishes for the day/ 7 

George Washington Carver was born in slavery in Marion 
Township, Missouri. He was never certain about his birthdate, 
although he generally estimated it as "about 1865 ." 

Documented are Carver's recognition of his having prophetic 
insight, and his interest and utilization of telepathy as a means of 
communication. Individuals felt strong healing emanations when 
Carver prayed. 

Manifested to Carver on his first day at Tuskegee Institute, 
through the phenomenon of a vision, was how the land surrounding 
the school would look in the future. The details of this prophetic 
glimpse are given by Linda O. McMurry in her book, George 
Washington Carver: Scientist and Symbol. 

While listening to the principal, he gazed out the win 
dow and suddenly saw the barren clay and dismal poverty of 
central Alabama transformed into rolling green hills dotted 
with neatly painted farm houses and enjoying obvious pros 
perity. He knew that somehow he was to play a major role in 
the transformation. 33 

Mentioned in McMurry's book is the seven-year correspon 
dence between Glenn Clark and Carver. Prior to their first meeting 
in 1935, the two had "corresponded and set times to pray 
together. . . ." They knew of each other through a mutual friend. 
After meeting, the two "continued to pray together across the miles 
that separated them, claiming a spiritual communion that allowed 
them to communicate telepathically/' 

John Sutton, who did his postgraduate work at Tuskegee under 
Carver's supervision, regarded his life as greatly influenced by 
Carver. McMurry writes, "Sutton felt so close to Carver that he 
believed the professor communicated with him telepathically while 

Ascetics, Ecstatics, and Seekers 95 

he was in Russia, giving him the solution to a difficult research 
problem/ 7 

His strong belief that his life should be committed to being one 
of service overrode Carver's desire for a career as an artist, and led 
him to align himself with the goals which Booker T. Washington 
expressed for Tuskegee Institute. "It has always been the one ideal of 
my life to be of the greatest good to the greatest number of 'my 
people 7 possible, and to this end I have been preparing myself for 
these many years; feeling as I do that this line of education is the key 
to unlock the golden door of freedom to our people/ 7 

Through a regression technique she met herself one 
hundred years earlier. 

Repulsed, her brown-skinned, small female-bodied self 
drew back, from the old identity's large white maleness, pro 

"That's not mel" she cried, trying to tear him from her 
heart. "1 am a meditator and a mediator!" 

But the newly surfaced thick-necked roughcast cowboy, 
a mercurial-tempered grudger, remained rooted. 

His ruthless force in acting solely for his own gain pul 
sated in her in a strong and unexpended current. 

Wasn't she forever transmuting that same brutish urge 
into penitent acts? The giving of self to others in delusive 

Those acts were part of the unwholesomeness amassing 
in her in heavy frozen rivers. Congealing her inner life. 

This goal she held to: "Be helpful to all" Sometimes un 
dermining her own integrity to keep it. 

Commanded by her search for Truth, she looked again 
into that image of her former life. Disturbing as he was, she 
knew him well! 

Amending activity followed the inspection. Impenetra 
ble feeling and compacted thought softened, broke up. A 
weightiness moved off, leaving her influidic expansiveness, 
lighter than ever. 

Other incarnations were uncovered, but none caused as 
great a shift in her perspective as the cowboy. 


And Some Are 
Old Souls 

The doctrine of reincarnation is a non- Western way in which 
the spiritual issues of the immortality of the soul, individual 
spiritual progress, and personal salvation are addressed. According 
to basic reincarnation theory, many lifetimes are lived by the 
individual soul in unending succession. Once a cycle of 
birth-through-death is completed, the soul assumes another body, 
most often close to the time of birth. With that physical form begins 
yet another period of existence. But periods of rest between 
incarnations also occur. 

The individual soul, which has experienced many incarna 
tions, and whose spiritual development and knowledge have 
increased significantly with each lifetime, is known as an "old soul/' 
Although there is usually no memory of past lives on a conscious 
level, the soul is always in the process of evaluating its past 
experiences, and using them as valued tools for gaining 
enlightenment in the present life, as part of the course of its spiritual 

Memories of past lives are transmitted into the present life in 
many ways. Dreams and visions exemplify these. Pre-existence 
knowledge may also become available through sudden insight, deja 
vu, intense spiritual discipline, soul-mate meetings, past life 
regression therapy, and readings by mediums and channels. 

Dreams and Visions 

Every soul is compelled to regain spiritual wholeness. But the 
life pattern and belief system to which it has subscribed in any one 


98 Company of Prophets 

lifetime may distract from or block that purpose. In the effort to 
restore its integrity, the soul may use certain imagery to remind 


Contact with a past life through dream or vision state allows 
the soul to liberate and reintegrate estranged self-truth. Fragments 
of self are regained which have been encapsulated in the many 
identities the soul has assumed over numerous lifetimes. The past 
life revealed will often contain information regarding disabilities 
and imperceptions which the soul is struggling to resolve in the 
current life. 

Sudden Insight 

A spontaneous awareness of a specific past life, or that one has 
had previous lives, that arises suddenly in one's consciousness. It 
contains no doubt; there is a strong and compelling certainty that 
this was a former life. 

Deja vu 

As related to past life memories, deja vu refers to having a 
strong sense of recognition that one has previously known a person 
or has been in a location once before. In those situations, the person 
is in contact with a soul or location known in a previous existence. 

Spiritual Discipline 

Those techniques, exercises, and practical studies undertaken 
by individuals striving to contact and develop their spiritual selves. 
Revelations about previous incarnations may be brought about 
through the seeker's intense mental, emotional, and physical efforts 
to overcome the barriers which separate him or her from the 
spiritual aspect of self. Discovering one has lived before may occur 
at any time during concentrated spiritual training. 

Soul Mate Meetings 

The reunion of two beings who have an uncompleted past life 
relationship, or who made an agreement to be together in a present 
or future life. 

Past Life Regression Therapy 

Many techniques exist which enable the interested to contact 
and re-live their past lives. Depending upon which method is 

And Some Are Old Souls 99 

employed, a person may be completely aware, or in varying stages 
of awareness, during the process. Among the ways to uncover past 
life material are through hypnosis, forms of counseling, special 
massages, and rituals. Some of the methods are ancient, and have 
their bases in religious or esoteric schools. 

Those undergoing therapy are usually directed through the 
experience by a trained person; although, sometimes advanced 
seekers work independently to unveil their own past lives. Past life 
regression therapy is considered to be, by many, a means of spiritual 

Past Life Readings 

The soul generates an energy field which surrounds the 
physical body. This field is the primary source of information in past 
life readings. All significant experiences which the soul has 
undergone over lifetimes is condensed in it. Additionally, the 
energy field contains the soul's projections and visualizations for the 
future. Energy field information taking the form of images, thought, 
and impression is available to the gifted reader. 

Under an extended definition of old souls in this chapter is 
included those individuals who have a strong measure of certainty 
about the existence of past lives; readers who discerned the 
existence of past lives in others; and individuals who hold assured 
beliefs about past lives and who have intuitivity on the subject of 
past lives. 

"I am who I am. I was before I came to this body/ 7 
Sculptor Richmond Barthe perceives among his former 
incarnations those lifetimes he spent as an artist. "The first time I 
tried portrait sculpture instead of painting, it was classic. You don't 
start with classic. You have to work up to classic. I have never done 
anything that was amateurish or primitive. My work has always 
been classic. And that convinces me that what mediums have said to 
me is true. Three of them told me the same thing. That I was a very 
old soul. They told me the different countries I have lived in." 

Barthe's reputation as an artist was well established by the 
1920s. Now a resident of Pasadena, California, he was born in Bay St. 

1 00 Company of Prophets 

Louis, Mississippi in 1901. 

"My mother had five children, but I always felt that the only 
person in the house that I was related to was my mother. I wasn't 
related to anyone else. I feel we had known each other before. I have 
never said that. I didn't want my brothers and sisters to know it. She 
(a medium) told me and that's the way I felt." 

In the 1930s a writer asked Barthe to make a Christmas gift for 
her husband. She wanted a portrait of his friend, entertainer Jimmy 
Daniels, sculpted in white marble. 

"This was back during the Depression, and everybody was out 
of money in those days. I felt I had to take the job. 

"I accepted the commission without telling her I didn't know 
how to carve. I had never tried it! Now, don't tell me that's a first 
attempt!" The artist points to a photograph of the bust of Jimmy 
Daniels. "Where did I get that technique? I had to bring it here with 
me. This is my first and only portrait in marble. You have to have a 
hammer and chisel chipping away. I was turning corners as if I 
really knew what I was doing." 

Barthe's work is in art museums, galleries, public buildings, 
and private collections around the world. 

"I was born at the right time. Just at the time that I did two 
heads, I had just finished them when something happened in 
Chicago that had never happened any place else in the world up to 
that time. 

"The white people on Michigan Boulevard were going to 
celebrate a Negro and Art Week. Who ever heard of such a thing? 
They went around Chicago, picking up every sketch, every 
drawing, every line, every etching, every water color, painting, done 
by Negroes, to exhibit. There was not one sculpture. 

"They heard about those two heads that I had done. I said, Tm 
not a sculpture student, I'm a painting student!' " But the committee 
member told Barthe, "These are beautiful!" and they were included 
in the collection. 

The Chicago Institute of Art had this big exhibition. They had 
the Jubilee Singers, artists, poets, and everybody. There were 
speeches by Alain Locke, Langston Hughes, Countee Cullen, and 
James Weldon Johnson. 

"What did I do in another lifetime to deserve this? I believe you 
have to reap what you sow. If that is true, then, I must have done 
some sowing the last time because this time I started reaping as soon 

And Some Are Old Souls 101 

as I got here. It is as if everything had been planned/' 

"I feel it is my duty to teach reincarnation/ 7 says London 
Wildwind. "God told me to teach it. I have had to force it on people 

"People will tell me, 'I don't want to hear about the past/ 1 say, 
'How are you going to know about the present if you don't know a 
little bit about the past?' " 

A new young parent, upset over her mother's dislike for the 
infant granddaughter, turned to London. "I channeled information. 
In channeling, I contacted her mother, and her mother said she 
didn't like the baby girl because the baby girl shocked her. I 
channeled in that the baby was her father who had reincarnated. She 
said she couldn't accept him in that form as a 'her'. And that it was 
competing with her to have a new daughter in the family. 

"And then I went into the future and saw that in three to five 
years, the grandmother seemed to be accepting the baby more but 
not now/' 

The young parent, unfamiliar with past lives, needed help in 
understanding the concept. 

"It really takes a long time to give people the whole principle of 
reincarnation. You literally have to take the time out and really teach 

"A lot of the female black clients who come to see me have been 
goddesses/ 7 discloses London. "They had powers in their past lives 
in Egypt." 

Not all of his clients immediately open up to the idea of 
reincarnation. "They will not accept it until a year or two later, or 
until I find the right book for them to read like Edgar Cayce. They 
come around eventually to the karmic." 

Concerning those who are strongly opposed to working with 
past lives, London comments, "When they come for a reading, now, 
I cut out a lot that is spiritual and give them what they want which 
is still spiritual, but it's more like what is happening now. It would 
be more spiritual if I could give them the karma with that. But they 
are not ready for it. I have learned not to give people what they are 
not ready for." 

102 Company of Prophets 

London was born in Stockton, California, but has spent much 
time in the San Francisco Bay area, where he attended college. He 
writes poetry, composes music, and plans to make a film. His 
interest in metaphysics goes back to when he was twenty and 
decided to develop his intuitivity by reading books in the field. 

Aura and chakra readings, spiritual healing meditations, Tarot, 
numerology, and I Ching are methods he uses in his present work 
with individuals and groups. Assisting individuals in uncovering 
the skills they had in former lives is one of the objectives of London's 
counseling. These untapped resources, which can give strength and 
direction to the present life, he calls "roots." 

"One woman came to me and I gave her a life reading. As I 
looked into her past lives, I said, 'Over and over, you always worked 
with fabric, and you always dyed. You wove rugs and things like 
that. Do you think you might like to do that in this life?' She said, 'I 
don't know/ 

"The woman called me a month later. She told me she got two 
books out of the library on batik. She started doing batik, and people 
started buying her work. She brought one over for me which had a 
big piano note on it. 

"She adapted that quickly from her roots. I found them. But I 
can't always find them. 

"Sometimes they don't really listen to the root thing that they 
have to do to get money. They keep trying other things like trying 
to win money. 

"I do think that people who do spiritual counseling can give 
people those roots they need." 

"Lady Sante Mira Bai was a writer and singer. Crops grew 
when she sang . . . She had a deep love of God . . . She hated the caste 
system/ 7 says June Gatlin of a past incarnation in India revealed to 
her during the 1970s. 

In 1980, an East Indian spiritual teacher acknowledged that life 
by calling June "Mira Bai" when he first met her. 

An ability of Lady Sante Mira Bai carried over into this lifetime: 
people have experienced healing through June's singing. She is a 
vocal entertainer who sings styles from gospel to jazz. She has 

And Some Are Old Souls 103 

performed on stages with the Staple Singers, Otis Redding, and The 
Temptations. Her creative abilities include writing poetry and 

A spiritual advisor, June says she "reads human energies as 
others read books/ 7 She has prophesied since childhood. She was 
still a child when she recognized that her present life was only one in 
a series of innumerable existences. She extracted skills from her 
collective memories. Locations and circumstances of many of her 
previous identities became evident early in her current life. "Queen" 
was the nickname given young June, the oldest of nine children, 
because of her regal mien. She was aware that in a past existence 
courtly attendants had waited on her. "I have had picture flashes of 
many lifetimes in Africa, India, and Egypt. 

"I have strong feeling toward the French. I was an illegitimate 
daughter of Louis XV and a black woman. I was hidden away in a 
convent. I have feelings of being a nun and knowledge of being in a 
convent." In the United States, an earlier lifetime was also 
uncovered. Born into slavery, she later escaped and helped others 
gain freedom. The name June was known by in that earlier life was 
Harriet Tubman. 

"I saw this person's picture in the paper and I just knew that I 
knew him. Every time his picture was in the paper, I would turn to it 
and sit and look at it, thinking, 1 know this person! 7 One day, he 
walked in my store," says Catherine Wilson. 

"I don't even know how to describe how it was when he 
walked in. We talked. He came back the next day. He asked me if I 
liked fish, I said, 'Yes/ He went out and bought a fish for me to fix, so 
I invited him to the house to have dinner." 

Catherine dreamed about him a couple of nights later. "He and 
I, we were together many, many years ago. It was in the very olden 
times way back. It seemed we were in a wagon train, traveling 

"There were old men with us, playing the type of music he 
plays that most people can't identify with. Black people, especially, 
can't identify with it. They were playing the music and he was 

104 Company of Prophets 

"1 was there. And for some unknown reason, I just know I died 
of childbirth under that wagon. And here we meet up again in 
another life!" 

He had no awareness of that life seen by her in that dream state, 
but sensed they had been together before. "We are very close, it is 
something high and spiritual/' he told Catherine. 

He could be as far away as Canada, but if she wanted to talk 
with him, he would call. "I would concentrate for maybe fifteen 
minutes. All I had to do is just put it out there. In the next few 
seconds, the phone would ring. 'Hello, what do you want?' Just like 
that! That only happened to me with one person/' 

Catherine, a widow and mother of five children, put an end to 
their relationship. He moved to Canada, and she went on raising her 
children and expanding her import business in the San Francisco 
Bay area. 

"He wanted us to marry, but I wouldn't marry him. He wanted 
children. I was young enough for children at that time. But I didn't 
want any more children. 

"It was one of the hardest things in my life to do was to send 
him on his way. I felt it was something I had to do for him, also. 
Because he needed to grow/ 7 

Using self-hypnosis and the help of another past life counselor, 
Cora Keeton went back to a past incarnation in prehistoric times. "It 
was very cold. There was ice, and I was always having to hunt/' she 
says about the life spent in mountain wilderness. "I was a man." 

Cora traces her instinctive liking for mountains to that 
existence. The hunter had loved the terrain despite its harshness. "I 
feel I have lived many lives . . . After coming out of each experience, I 
have felt it was a part of my life. It has meaning and purpose." 

Cora co-founded the Crenshaw Metaphysics Institute in Los 
Angeles through which she works with people in their spiritual 
development. Past life therapy is used by her to enable individuals 
to find direction in life. Her technique utilizes principles of 
meditation, visualization, and "white light bathing." She "soul 
travels" with individuals to their former incarnations. 

"I went out of the body. I saw myself in a group. I saw candles," 

And Some Are Old Souls 105 

Cora says of another of her experiences. She was in a different time 
and place. Clad in an orange robe, she was one among other priests, 
chanting. She came back to the present with new awareness of an 
earlier life in a Buddhist monastery. For a period she remembered 
how to chant. This experience spontaneously began while she 
attended a Buddhist ceremony a religion unfamiliar to her. A 
knowledgeable acquaintance corroborated the details of her 
experience and urged her to resume the advanced path she had been 
on in Buddhism. 

In a cycle of existence reached through past life regression 
therapy, Cora went back several hundred years, entering at the 
point of her death. "I was a blind apple peddler. I fell down a well 
and broke my back. I remember coming up out of the well without 
my body/' 

"All I know is that I did something. It's been recorded in history 
and there is a statue or something," responds Tureeda Mikell to a 
query about her former lives. 

"But it doesn't matter because that was in the past and I have to 
be concerned about my growth in the present. So it doesn't really 
matter what I did, it's just necessary that I learned no matter how 
little or great or whatever." 

Tureeda, poet, healer, and psychic counselor of the San 
Francisco Bay area, receives information about her own past 
existences intuitively. "The information just comes. I can go back. I 
did one on Atlantis and when I came back my palms were sweating, 
and my voice was shaking. I went way back." 

In tracing with others through their incarnations, she uses 
spiritual readings and "light-travel therapy." 

"It depends on the person ... If they can look. When people 
come for a session, I may have to go back to a past life. Something 
that is very pertinent. It is not like someone calls to say, 'I would like 
a past life reading/ If they want that, we can focus on that, but it is 
not separate from the reading." 

She began writing poetry in recent years and much of the 
poetry comes from her inner voice. The theme in two of her poems, 
"Dark Sun Child" and "Trees," is reincarnation. 

"Have you heard of neurolinguistic programming?" she asks. 

106 Company of Prophets 

"It's like neurolinguistic physics or reading the body. Looking 
at the whole body as a geological light structure. ... It is like a certain 
energy light may be out and you reconnect it It is dimensions of 

"There are people who tend to be living life working out things 
that they took on at another level or another structure, that are 
somehow inflections or reflections of what they did before/' 

Tureeda's counseling activities began in 1978. On occasion, she 
speaks of metaphysical and cultural topics on radio. She conducts 
classes, seminars, and astrological readings. 

"I met an astrologer who did my chart. He said our charts were 
very similar and he tried to get me to deal with him. When I was with 
him, I felt like I was talking to myself. When I was around him, I felt 
like I had nothing to say to him. I began to lose a lot of weight. When 
we sat down to eat, I would sometimes get nauseated. Yet I felt like I 
was supposed to be with him. 

"It ended when I had a reading done. It turned out he was a 
guru with me in a past life. I broke that contract. I had to realize that I 
had moved on/' 

A stately woman in a chariot rolled through Mother Estelle 
EUerbee's front room in New York City. The scene formed and 
animated every now and then, waking old Egyptian memories in 
Mother Ellerbee. She had been there one day, in a time long 
gone when the procession actually passed. A spectator in the 
crowds pushing forward for a glance at the regal woman. 

With her son, Clarence, then a schoolboy, in this life Mother 
Ellerbee searched through encyclopedias. Knowing a modern 
depiction of the woman was somewhere, she continued on her 
course until she found Queen Nefertiti. That was the woman in the 

Years ago, through a vision, she was transported back to Salem, 
Massachusetts. She saw herself in a horsedrawn cart, a prisoner 
accused of witchery being led to trial in the year 1692. She emerged 
from the vision distressed about the false accusation which brought 
on her death. "Most witches were really spiritually gifted people!" 
protests Mother Ellerbee. 

Fourteen times, she "died and came back" during one of her 

And Some Are Old Souls 1 07 

trances. Sometimes when preaching or speaking she will detail what 
she saw and heard in those fourteen past lifetimes. She lived in the 
very early days of civilization. She remembers Israel, Pakistan, and 
Moslem nations. 

While traveling, Mother Ellerbee "feels out" things in places, 
realizing she once lived there. She and Clarence went to old 
Jerusalem in 1982. There she pointed out spots familiar to her. Her 
burial site was found. A Jewish girl in that lifetime, she died young. 

She spontaneously speaks languages unfamiliar to her in this 
lifetime, being understood by the indigenous people. The spiritually 
gifted, in several locations, recognize her as one returning home to 
her people. 

"I have been an executioner, a prostitute, a love goddess/ 7 she 
reveals. "This is just a body. I may come as an ape, a bird, or from 
another race/ 7 

While holding her newborn granddaughter, Mother Ellerbee 
received a message from the Lord. "This is your baby from another 
time/ 7 Cold chills broke out all over her. In a past life, she and 
Clarence were together. Even her adopted daughter has reunited 
with her from another time. 

"I came from God. I have lived many times. 

'T 7 m part of everybody, every nation, and everything/' 

Award-winning entertainer Hayward Coleman returned to an 
old home on his first trip to Egypt. "When I got to the pyramids, I 
began to realize I had been there before. There was no personality, or 
name, or anything about the life I led. It was more of an awareness of 
who I was. Flashes that I had lived there/ 7 A few years later, in a 
psychic reading, he was told he had been a scribe during Pharoah's 

"Before I went to Europe, I had flashes of streets and alleys 
there/ 7 He confirmed the existence of these spontaneously 
remembered past life environs during his stay in Europe. 

"Basically, I went to France to study with Marcel Marceau. My 
girlfriend went to study with Jean Louis Barraut who was the 
Olivier of France. 

"It was her sudden death from asphyxiation from gas while 

108 Company of Prophets 

taking a bath on a cold winter day that made me begin to wonder 
about the possibility of energy never being destroyed, even though 
it passes from physical life/ 7 

His awareness heightened through his reading of metaphysical 
books and clairaudient contacts with his deceased girlfriend, Leila. 
"It was Leila who brought me in contact with what I call my spiritual 
teacher/' This was not the first time that Leila had assumed a role in 
expediting his spiritual progress. 

"My most recent life in India I feel strongly towards that life. I 
was in a monastery as a boy monk. One day I saw a guru/ 7 Hayward 
recognized the being as his spiritual teacher. At once he left the 
monastery to accelerate his progress on his spiritual path with that 
advanced teacher, who in this life was Leila. 

Eleanor Walker's consciousness opened up while she listened 
to a metaphysical radio broadcast in her Washington, D.C home. 
Suddenly she realized she had lived before. That day she received 
impressions of her own past existences and some of her family's, too. 

After metaphysical counseling and training, more information 
about her past lives became available to her. "In 1970 I joined a 
metaphysical organization, and that is where I started developing. I 
was in the organization for seven years. A foundation was laid and I 
began to realize the abilities I have." 

"I was to know that I could go into past lives and receive 
impressions for other people and myself. 

"I am clairvoyant, clairaudient, and a metaphysical teacher. 

"I believe in reincarnation. In one of my past lives I was a 
Scandinavian male, a fighter. I have been a fighter more than once. 

"I never realized why I don't like to fight now. I don't like to see 
fights. I don't like boxing. I didn't realize until I started going to 
school that I've outgrown fighting. I don't need to do it anymore." 

"I have been here many lifetimes. This is my final lifetime here. 
"I worked on my development in other lifetimes. It is my 

And Some Are Old Souls 1 09 

Bennie Holloway picks up the thoughts, emotions, and 
intentions of others. Aware of her gifts since age twelve, she began 
using them after her move to the San Francisco Bay area in 1962. She 
does personal counseling and has participated in programs on 
psychic awareness on radio, television, and at schools. "I have given 
talks to classes, telling them about past lives. I enjoy helping young 
folks to have better understanding. 

"My son, Marty, is a Master. 

"My children are all very connected to me. My oldest son 
knows he has been with me before. I didn't help him in that life/' she 

Bennie perceives having lived in Atlantis. 

"I know I was at the Mystery School with Christ. I was at the 
Round Table with King Arthur/ 7 

Born into a Presbyterian family, and raised as a Baptist in an 
orphanage, she was perplexed for a long time by her strong affinity 
for the Catholic Church with which she had no experience. The 
confusion was cleared through past life revelation. She became 
aware of having lived in a monastery where her identity was that of 
a priest and writer. 

Before she leaves her present life, Bennie hopes to have made 
the spiritual progress needed to free her of the cycle of birth and 
death. She would then only incarnate for specific purposes. 

Bennie notes it has become increasingly more difficult for her to 
stay within the body. She spends most of her time in the nonphysical 
world on the astral plane. "I want to become a Master before I 
leave the Earth plane. I want to take on bodies only when I want to. " 

"Liszt told me I was one of his students in Weimar, Germany/' 
imparts concert pianist Count Carnette, a self-taught musician and 
channel for the spirits of famous deceased composers. 

The Guides of writer Ruth Montgomery tell that Count has had 
many incarnations as a musician. During the reign of Louis XIV, he 
was a concert harpsichordist and composer to the royal court. 

This lifetime he suffered as a battered child. "I knew I was being 
tortured. I actually thought of a torture chamber. What did I know of 
torture chambers at that young age? A recollection of a past life?" 1 

H o Company of Prophets 

In his last four or five past lives, the Guides reveal, Count was a 

white man. 

In Threshold to Tomorrow, he said, "When I sing Negro spirituals 
I am totally black, but otherwise I never think of race, and I'm always 
momentarily startled when someone remarks on my Negro 
heritage. I know without a doubt that I agreed to don this physical 
body as a symbol of the white and black the yin and yang. 

"Just as my work is concerned with universal love, so I needed 
a body that would serve as a subtle reminder of it." 

"The so-called talents I have, I think everybody has. It is called 
intuition and renamed psychic ability We are born with it." 
While growing up, Patty Ballard often perceived what people were 
thinking, good or bad, through the vibrations around them. 

"I have always been interested in metaphysics. I took psychic 
development classes and realized that all my life I had been seeing in 
my mind's eye, clairvoyantly. I found I was good, and it surprised 
me. But being a practitioner of Science of the Mind, now I can look 
back and see what was happening. 

"When you are developing psychically, you are getting closer 
to source, which is God. 

"I found the closer I got to the source, the more I became 
attuned with the Universe and the more I was able to use these 
intuitive or psychic abilities." 

She was born in Ft. Worth, Texas to a military family which 
thought psychism a mystery and dismissed it. Her family moved 
frequently. She spent a lot of time alone, reading. 

"I started out using psychometry which would be a piece of 
jewelry on somebody. I would hold it in my hands. What would 
happen is that pictures would come, and then I would ask questions 
to make sure those pictures were interpreted right." 

Patty's direction is in teaching and lecturing. She co-hosts a 
cable television program in Los Angeles. "I started by reading at 
psychic fairs. And some of my first ones were past life experiences. 

"It was really interesting to find that whenever I was reading 
these people the various things that had happened in past life 
experiences, they were going through in this life. It was like a lesson 

And Some Are Old Souls 111 

learned for them in this life. I am always surprised about the things 
that come out. 

"The energy within the each of us is so untapped, we don't 
know the amount of power that each of us has. Imagine if the whole 
world got together and used that power for good/' 

"I do believe there are people who are lucky enough to 
continue a previous incarnation. Stevie Wonder, to be so gifted and 
to play so many instruments at an early age, had to learn it 
somewhere. The pattern was in his subconscious. It didn't develop. I 
think the mind is a collection of pictures of things we have 
experienced, and nothing is ever forgotten/' 

Chuck Wagner, New York Tarot master and astrologer, at five 
years old, began reading playing cards spontaneously. "I do believe 
I had to be familiar with them in some previous lifetime to even 
manage them. As soon as I got them, I started reading them/' 


Gifted in 
Physical Healing 

The people in this chapter use superphysical means in helping 
others recover from sicknesses which have afflicted their bodies. 

Spiritual healing is done traditionally by the laying on of 
hands, and practitioners of that ancient technique are included here 
along with individuals who use prayer and other forms of spiritual 
intercession as means to effect actual physical changes, improving 
the health of the human body. 

Healers assisting in the curing of mental, emotional, and spiri 
tual ailments are presented elsewhere in this book. 

"See that drawing on the wall? That was done by a tumor!" 
When he tells of one case history, Peter Brown, psychic and healer 
who works out of Chicago, adds that amusing note. "The woman in 
this case had gone to the doctor and the doctor told her she had a tu 
mor that needed to be removed. She was seen by five physicians suc 
cessively. Each said it was a tumor. But one did a sonogram. 

"Finally they said it was a baby and, a tumor! The tumor was 
blocking the birth canal so the baby would not come out. They were 
going to have to do a caesarian section. 

"During that whole period of time Spirit was saying, 'No, it's a 
baby. It's a boy, it has a mark on its forehead and the name it's to be 
given is Monasa/ 

"I sent her to a physician I knew. He examined her. I told her, 


214 Company of Prophets 

'Don't tell him anything that I told you/ 

"He said to her, 'Has anyone done a pregnancy test? 7 

'No!' He did the rabbit test. He called me the next day. 'She's 
pregnant! 7 

"I said, 'I knew that! 7 

"She had a baby. She had a normal delivery after about an hour 
of labor. She had a boy, he had a mark on his forehead and they 
named him Monasa. He was the one that drew that picture on my 

wall. 7 ' 

James Ford was once church secretary at the Cathedral Temple 
of Divine Love where Peter has his ministry. 

"I met James years ago when we were teenagers and then in our 
lives, he went one way, I went another. I was on WSBC radio station 
one weekend on a six o'clock broadcast which I had every Sunday 
morning. I got a phone call off the air. It was him. 

"He had been at the County Hospital and was over at Hyde 
Park at the 'Y'. Would I please come and see him? I said I would and 
I did. 

"He weighed all of sixty pounds. He was skin and bones. The 
story was he had had too much to drink one night and went home to 
his father's house. He went into the bathroom and took what he 
thought was mouthwash. It turned out to be an acid. He drank it and 
it burned him all the way down to the belly. They had to take out 
most of his stomach because it was so badly burned and make a new 

"He had a hole right above his navel, the size of a half dollar. It 
wouldn't close or heal. Basically because he didn't have any re 
serves. The food he ate, the little quantity was just enough to main 
tain the body. He didn't have anything to grow on. They were hav 
ing problems with that wound! They couldn't get it to close. 

"So one night, we were talking about it. He asked, 'Would you 
ask the Lord about it? 7 So I did. 77 Through inspirational writing, Pe 
ter drew a picture which showed how he and a few selected indi 
viduals could help close Ford's wound. 

"They told me to put my left hand on the back of the neck and 
the right hand over the hole. It was nine o'clock at night. In ten min 
utes they (Spirit) would close it. 

"When They said, 'Go!' both my arms locked. I don't know if 
you have ever stuck your finger in a light socket and got a shock. 
That's how it felt. Try that for 10 minutes. I couldn't get loose from 

Gifted in Physical Healing 115 

him. When they said the time was up, I was released from him. 

"So we sat down and were talking about how it felt and that he 
felt an electrical tingling all over. And then we looked and the hole 
had closed down to about the size of an eraser. And it was draining. 

"He said, 'Oh no, this can't be!' We were looking at it, and when 
he said it can't be, it stopped closing! And it stayed that little hole 
and that was okay. We took him to the hospital and with a couple of 
stitches, it was closed. 

"After that he started picking up weight. He was a marvelous 

One of Peter's goals is the creation of a seven-pointed, star- 
shaped building, which would implement programs utilizing the 
information received from Spirit through his inspirational writing. 
The seven units to be housed in the facility are concerned with heal 
ing, communication, childcare, residential care for the elderly, a li 
brary, a school and a hospital unit "Spirit has given me information 
on how to help children to develop. What you can do to reverse ill 
nesses using music, using color, using all of the sciences and arts that 
people know about. They have given treatises on dietary principles, 
food combinations, even the kinds of fabrics one ought to wear or 
not wear." 

Peter relates in another case history a healing accomplished by 
telephone. "I got a phone call from a lady who asked me if I would 
read for her daughter. Her daughter was an adult who was having 
epileptic seizures. They had been to one of the renowned clinics in 
this country as well as to the hospital at the University and they were 
not able to find the cause of these seizures. 

"So the woman discussed with her physicians that some years 
before I had read for her and her mother and told them the things 
they needed to look for. They were successful. So she was saying to 
one doctor, 'Let's try him and see what will happen/ 

"They called. The won^an said to me, 'We will leave Peoria to 
night about 9:00 and we'll be there (Chicago) about 4 or 5 o'clock in 
the morning if you'll see us/ 

"I said, 'No, you don't need to do that because there is no time, 
there is no space. I am where you are. You are where I am. We are all 
in one world and we can do this!' 

"I just needed the girl's name and she gave me the name and I 
did the reading. 

"The reading said that talc was the cause of these episodes. That 

216 Company of Prophets 

talc and talcum powder. The mother then made a list of products 
that had talc in them. She came up with 41 products like rice which is 
polished with it." With the isolation of talc as the triggering agent for 
the seizures, Spirit advised that the daughter receive a minimal dose 
of a certain medication and after that course of treatment the illness 
would reverse itself and she would be "okay." Her condition im 
proved as Spirit indicated. 

A pregnant woman came to Peter in desperation before follow 
ing through with a therapeutic abortion which was medically rec 
ommended. Extensive testing showed that the fetus she was carry 
ing was severely damaged and most likely dying. In the reading the 
woman was given a list of strict instructions to which she must con 
form. She was to have her mattress turned every day. She had to 
wear a green dress with polka dots on it, and wear shoes only made 
of leather. Daily walks were to be taken by her regardless of weather 
conditions. Dietary changes were prescribed by Spirit which in 
cluded that she eat a piece of bacon daily. What was stressed above 
all was that she should eat a bowl of plain oatmeal every single day. 

During the routing for hospital admission the fetus" condition 
was noted as improved and the abortion cancelled. A normal course 
of pregnancy progressed with the woman adhering to the instruc 
tions of Spirit. After an RH factor problem was discovered by her 
physician, she asked Peter to do another reading. The physician said 
the infant would need a blood transfusion immediately after birth. 
"They (Spirit) said, 'No blood transfusion. The baby is going to be 
perfectly normal and that's that! 7 

"When she delivered, they tested the baby and there wasn't a 
thing wrong with the blood. 

"But the thing about that child/ 7 says Peter of the girl, who was 
13 or 14 years old in 1985, "she can sit down and eat a box of oatmeal 
raw and she loves it. 

"There was something in the combination of oatmeal, bacon, 
leather shoes, walking in the out-of-doors and some other things 
that turned the woman's whole system around." 

A nineteenth-century faith healer, Henry Adams is primarily 
known for his leadership in a grassroots organization formed of 

Gifted in Physical Healing 117 

Louisiana freedmen. This group advocated massive black migration 
from the South to regions where blacks might realize economic bet 
terment. Adams campaigned for emigration to Liberia as well. 

He joined the Army after emancipation in 1865, serving in the 
25th and 39th infantries. 

In the Dictionary of American Negro Biography, Neel Irvin Painter 
wrote: " . . . that (healing) gift, together with his enterprising inde 
pendence, assured him economic self-sufficiency, even before his 
emancipation in 1865." 1 

Born in Georgia in 1843, Adams grew up in Louisiana where 
his family moved when he was seven years old. He began practicing 
faith healing in childhood and was active as a healer into the 1870s. It 
was noted by Painter that faith healing "reinforced his public influ 
ence/ 7 

"We had gone to the Jai-alai to play. I saw this man, we'd seen 
him before, we'd talked in passing. I saw this night he had a pair of 
crutches. I pulled him aside. 

"I said, I've got something to tell you, I can tell you something 
that will cure/ 1 said, 'You have a fractured bone in three places/ 

"He said, 'How did you know?' I said, 'That's what the Spirit 
said. You go to a botannica or herb store or health food store and get 
these herbs. Put them together and make a tea. In three days time, 
youll come off the crutches. 

"In three days time, the man was walking without the 

The ancient African Spiritual resources of the Yoruban priest 
belong to James Moye. Primary to his priestly ministrations is his 
work as a healer. Through prayer, consecrations, cowrie-shell divi 
nation, sword and the obeah stick, he works with the African gods. 
Of the people contacting Moye from around the country, most want 
help with body problems. Spirit directs the Yoruban priest-herbalist 
in selecting plants which have healing properties for individualized 
treatment. His herbs, collected from around the world, come mostly 
from Nigeria. 

Physical, emotional, and spiritual afflictions are brought to him 
by individuals in person or by telephone. A parent reported her 

118 Company of Prophets 

young son suffered a severe abrasive injury in a fall from his bicycle. 
He was treated by a doctor; but on visiting the home the following 
day, Moye observed the boy's great discomfort and created a salve 
for him of ingredients specified by Spirit to soothe the wound. The 
parent watched in awe as the injury changed. Rapidly it improved, 
and in less than a week there was only a faint reminder of the acci 

Moye was working with a waitress who burned her leg while at 
work. He was in the restaurant when it happened. She later came to 
his cottage by car. In the process of treating her, he chanted a 
Yoruban prayer. "I'm going to tell you something," he instructed the 
woman with the burn. "You have to be very careful with your leg. 
You have difficulty sometime with circulation, is that true?" 

She said, "Right!" 

"The ankles are also weak," he continued, "you need shoes 
with arches and heels. You have to be careful because if you don't, 
you may have problems later with varicose veins. The female side of 
your family has trouble with varicose veins." 

The waitress murmured, "My grandmother and mother do." 

"Spirit says for you to take a lemon and mop the leg down with 
it." He chanted again. "Coconut butter and lemon! That's what 
Spirit says!" he exclaimed. 

"Do you have trouble with your knee? Youbent your knee in an 

"Years ago," the waitress said. "I busted a hole straight through 
it when I was nine years old." 

All through the healing ceremony Moye talks with the one be 
ing treated. Informing of what Spirit advises on the condition and 
what the remedy might be. 

"One of your children has been having trouble with the ear. A 
little boy!" 

"That's my baby!" said the waitress in surprise. "You have 
never seen him!" 

Moye chanted and then said, "I can cure your son's ear. Bring 
him one evening. I will fix up something for him for his ear." 

The waitress commented that she felt a drawing sensation in 
her burn. That she felt relieved. 

"This was a historical illness," recalls John, another patient. "It 
went back a few years. I had pernicious anemia. The body's ability to 
make red blood cells was impaired. You have to receive vitamin 

Gifted in Physical Healing 119 

B-12 shots each and every month. That's the only way you can live. 
Moye managed through some kind of way to get me out of the shots, 
and of course my doctor insisted that this could not happen. Perni 
cious anemia is not curable. It is only treatable with the B-12 shots/ 7 

"When John went to the hospital/' Moye adds, "the doctor did 
a thorough examination only to find that John's records said he was 
supposed to have pernicious anemia. But the pernicious anemia was 
nullified. They couldn't find any trace of it. They found he had dia 
betes instead. That was the trade off. 

"I said, T can work on this, take it from you and give you some 
thing else. I can take the third thing from you. In the final analysis 
you won't have to worry about the sickness. You'll have problems 
with the doctor. The doctor will be looking at you with 'fish eye'." 

Moye makes himself available to those in need. His main resi 
dence is a small cottage in Tallahassee, Florida. He also has a place in 
New Jersey where many of his relatives live. 

"I have a deluge of many people coming from many different 
places. The majority of problems of late are problems of dealing with 
health. I have worked with people who have had terminal cancer. 
That the doctors have given up to die. I went to see such a lady. 
About four weeks after I had been there, no trace of cancer. In work 
ing with the Orisha (African Gods), many things are possible/' 

"I am dealing with the light in life that comes through the dark 
ness. I am an instrument of God." June Gatlin is a singer and spiri 
tual healer who lives in Los Angeles. "I want to move and inspire 
people. I have done that while singing gospel. People have gotten 
healed through my voice. 

"When I sing, people hearing me who have ailments, physical 
pain, or mental problems, have felt healing sensations." 

She performed for the Jesse Jackson presidential campaign in 
1984; Muammar Qaddafi's representatives were there. They said to 
her, "Your voice, there is power in your voice!" and invited her to 

In Mikall's Club in New York in 1981, she gave a performance 
that was heavily attended by entertainment industry people. Miles 
Davis was in the audience. After the show he spoke to her. "That 

120 Company of Prophets 

voice, Fd be pleased to play for you anytime/ 7 

After concerts, people tell her how her singing sent healing vi 
brations through their bodies and minds. 

"When I am singing in church, in the power of my voice they 
feel healing energy reaching the soul and spirit/' June perceives that 
each individual is a distinct system of energies. The energies are vis 
ible to her. While working on an individual through spiritual con 
tact or laying on of hands, she becomes aware of how that person's 
energies were aligned in the original and optimum state. At the 
same time, she sees how the pattern has become altered as the result 
of physical, emotional, or spiritual suffering. She may perceive the 
details of the trauma. Observable to her are the energy distortions 
caused by pain. How the original smooth lines of energy go into jag 
ged misalignment with stress. "I deal with the Power that generates 
the mental energy for people to create. I go to the Source: God with 
the Holy Spirit. 

"I align energy. I work at realigning joints, straightening and 
reconditioning cells. 

"I realign energy, recharge and restructure that energy/' Two 
case histories she shares are of women who had long-term infertility 
problems. Both conceived and successfully became parents after 
June adjusted their energy systems. Persons with physical illnesses 
have responded well to realignment. "If I call God, He changes the 
person from within. 

"I have prayed not to have to leave until I could do something 
about the suffering and pain/ 7 

"Polly Ostrander scalded her hand with a pot of boiling coffee, 
came into me and said, 'I have scalded my hand/ and I saw it looked 
like scarlet. I was told to pass my hand over it three times and then 
kneel down and pray. I did. And she kneeled also. And when I rose, 
she praised the Lord. 

"Her hand was restored white as her other/' 2 This healing, per 
formed in 1843 by religious leader Rebecca Cox Jackson, is recorded 
in her autobiography, Gifts of Power, edited by Jean M. Humez. 

Communicating with her through inner voice, Spirit provided 
Jackson with her methods of healing. "There was an old woman that 

Gifted in Physical Healing 121 

was blind She heard a woman was to speak she desired to hear 
her. One of her friends led her to the place where I was put up and 
when I saw her, I was sitting in prayer and I had such a sense of pity 
for her. And in it I was moved to go and lay my hand on her head in 
love. I got up and went, and as soon as I done it, I was commanded to 
sing, hold my right hand on her head, my left one on her left shoul 
der . . . 

"So while I sung with my hands upon her, she received sight . . . 
I did not know that God was going to give her sight by my hands, 
but knowed that He gave me the sense of pity that I had, and told me 
to do all that I had done/' 

Born in the late eighteenth century, a free person, Rebecca Jack 
son's spiritual awakening occurred at the age of thirty-five. Taught 
through dreams, visions, and revelation, instructions from Spirit be 
came integrated into her daily life. 

Through spiritual perception, Jackson was led to the home of a 
sick man. She was accompanied by her husband, Samuel. "So when I 
knowed what I came for I said, 'Let us pray/ The man, in five min 
utes' time, would be laying on the floor, then on the chair, then up 
stairs, groaning, crying. He appeared to be in the greatest agony I 
ever saw anybody in. I clearly saw that prayer could do him no 
good, yet I knowed I was sent there to pray. It was said to me, "Ask 
what you will and it shall be given/ 

"Lord, rebuke his pains/ And at that word he kneeled. When I 
closed, and rose upon my feet, he said, 'God bless you. You have 
cured me. I have no pain. I am well as I ever was. Three weeks I have 
been just as I was when you came in, and have had no sleep/ . . . All 
this time he was talking, his wife, her mother, his children, Samuel 
was crying and praising God." 

Jackson recounted a personal experience. "Recovering from a 
long fit of sickness ... at one time I thought my eyes would burst in 
my head, they were so painful, I expected never to see again. And 
when I viewed the work I had yet to do in time, which work I could 
not do without my sight, it seemed as if I would go out of my right 
mind I then prostrated my soul, body, mind and spirit before God 
and Holy Mother Wisdom in prayer. Yea, I cried in the bitterness of 
my spirit to that God who hears the ravens cry. 

"And my prayer was answered . . . 'And if you are faithful, you 
shall be restored again to comfortable health, and have your sight 
also, to do the work which I gave you to do on earth/ 

1 22 Company of Prophets 

"In a few days after, I received a healing gift, and my eyes were 

"I was saved, sanctified. I was baptized with the gifts of the 
Holy Ghost at ten years old, and the Lord used me to his glory/' 3 

Archbishop Bessie S. Johnson, as quoted in Spirit World, was 
born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana in 1893. She is regarded as the oldest 
and most revered living leader in the Spiritual Church in New Or 

A contemporary of Mother Catherine Seals, she became a di 
vine worker during the many years she worked closely with Leaf 
Anderson, the founder of the First Spiritual Church South in New 
Orleans in 1920. Anderson, who was half black and half Mohawk In 
dian, had been an opera singer and church leader in Chicago before 
her move to New Orleans. Anderson taught her students the con 
cept of "spirit returning/' that discarnates come back to guide the 

"It's like when you hear an inner voice telling you what to do," 
explained Archbishop Johnson to Spirit World author Michael 
Smith. "That's one of your spirit guides. You should listen to what 
your spirit guides tell you." 

"It was Leaf Anderson/' continued Archbishop Johnson, "that 
told me I was gifted, and that I was born under John the Revelator, a 
beautiful guide and teacher. I preach through him. 

"Every medium does not prophesy. I was given the gift of 
prophecy in Biloxi, Mississippi. I was by a (water) hydrant, and I 
heard a voice. That night we had a meeting in Biloxi. When I went 
into the grounds I began to prophesy to a lumberman that his 
daughter was going to walk again. And she did walk . . . Then I be 
came a divine worker under Leaf Anderson." 

Archbishop Johnson spent her childhood in New Orleans. At 
the age of ten she was healed of blindness by a Sanctified man. 

"The gift of prophecy is something which comes to you 
through the divine spirit force," she told Smith. "I can get in spirit 
and the spirit will tell me who you are, what you come from, and 
whether your intentions are good ... A lot of people come to be 
healed and they are healed, if they come in good faith. Sometimes a 

Gifted in Physical Healing 123 

body is just naturally sick and the doctors just can't reach the condi 
tion. But God can reach all complaints. By my faith in Him, by my 
confidence, my being instructed through the divine spirit of God, 
and these people having faith, they are healed. I have stayed right 
here in my house and people call me on the phone, and I ask them to 
get a glass of water, with faith believing; I say the prayer over the 
phone, they drink the water, and they are healed/ 7 

"She says she does no healing herself; it is all done through her, 
as a medium, by the divine spirit force. She also speaks in tongues at 
times. She then interprets what has been spoken so that people can 
be 'edified'," Smith reported. "She has no particular method, but 
heals 'however the spirit tells me to heal/ " 

"When God speaks out the spirit to me, my mouth just flies 
open and a beautiful song rattles out of my throat into the atmos 
phere for the people to hear/ 7 Fannie Bell Chapman is a God-in 
spired singer who creates songs while she is in the dream-state. "I 
sang at the University of Mississippi in concert. There were about 
500 in the house. 

"I was born September 6, 1909. Born in Amen, Mississippi/ 7 

The visions and her love of singing started in childhood. She 
sang traditional Baptist hymns at Sunday school. The visions were 
intense and frequent enough to impress her that she was dreaming 
during their duration. Most often the themes in the visions were of 
sick people. At fourteen she visited the sick in their home, singing, 
praying, and healing. All was preparation for the religious mission 
to which she would so deeply dedicate her adult life. 

"My mouth flied open, just like a mockingbird, and I went to 
singing, 'God spoke in His Holiness/ 7/ Fannie Bell asked her daugh 
ter to accompany her on the piano to fully bring out this song since 
she felt too nervous to write the words down. Their collaboration 
marked the beginning of her family's sharing in the creation of her 
music. A song would come to her; she would hum it; the words 
would come; she began to sing it. Then she would call in the family 
to do the background. And out of that the "family of songsters 77 was 
created, and her mission shaped. 

"Visions followed me up so closely from on up until now that I 

224 Company of Prophets 

had to try and see whether they were the handworks of God/ 7 One 
late evening Fannie Bell received a sign. She sat on her porch, her at 
tention drawn to the beauty in clouds which were rising. Through 
prayer she appealed to God to flash the "pillar of clouds" with light 
ning if He wanted her to go out to pray and help people through the 
visions, as so many years ago she had been instructed to do. After 
she prayed, an airplane passed close to the clouds, illuminating 
them. This Fannie Bell rejected as false because the airplane was 
manmade and not a divine work. She resumed praying until she re 
ceived her sign. 

"That pillar was so prettily flashed. It just went on down until 
you could just see a little cloud, and He flashed that lightning. Ever 
since then I've been working, praying, and going to people's houses 
and having prayer meeting here in my house/' The prayer group 
travelled around its community in Centreville, and into New Or 
leans, visiting homes, hospitals, and churches. 

She confides about the manner in which her visions come. 
"Some of them come to me while I am awake. But most of them come 
to me no sooner than when I lay down. Then they shake me and go to 
talking to me. Fd get real sleepy. I'd go and lay down. No sooner 
than I lay down the visions would come to me/ 7 

She speaks in tongues and is sometimes possessed by the Holy 

When she was growing up a preacher helped her to understand 
the visions. "I'd always take my visions to Brother Montgomery and 
he would interpret them. I couldn't learn from God. I had to come in 
at the door. 

"When a vision came to me, it showed me sick people. It 
showed me what to do to them when I got to them. Lots of them I 
healed; some of them, you know, I didn't heal. You just don't heal all 
of them. 

"Sometimes when my hands would get to working over the 
body over the person, my hands would just fly like that. They would 
go right on in wherever the disease was. Visions showed me what to 
do. I'd do it and they'd get along pretty good. Some of them a lot bet 
ter. I went to their homes. 

"My husband was the first person I healed," Fannie Bell says in 
recalling early healing activities as an adult. "He had been to every 
doctor he knowed. He came round and I told him to sit under here 
with the Bible, talk to Jesus, and see what Jesus had to say about it. I 

Gifted in Physical Healing 125 

told him it was nothing I could do." Her husband improved, and 
thereafter she went for many years praying and singing. 

Fannie Bell was in Natchez visiting when she got so sleepy she 
couldn't keep her eyes open. "I told the lady, this is a vision on me 
now and I've got to lay down . . . Just as I lay down He spoke to me . . . 
'Call your house now and tell them to treat the house like it was 
when you are there. If they don't treat it like it was when you were 
there, some of them are coming right back over here/ " 

Fannie Bell made the call and hurried home. "By the time I got 
here, got out of the car, they were bringing one of my grandchildren 
out of the door. I said, 'O Lord, what's the matter?' 

"My daughter said, 'This child is sick. I've got to carry him to 
the hospital I've got to rush him to Centreville/ 

" 'No, Baby, don't rush him to Centreville, you've got to take 
this child to Natchez/ " 

She took him to Centreville anyway, and the doctor told her to 
take him to Natchez as quickly as possible. 

"The vision told me that she was going to be brought to 

Fannie Bell uses her hands and the Bible in her healing work. 
Her hands possess "healing power straight from the Holy Ghost." 
She gives prayer services to the hospitalized, and when she goes into 
the home of a person regarded as incurable by doctors, she uses lay 
ing on of hands. 

During the project to record her singing at the Center for South 
ern Folklore, she spoke of her healing work to William Ferris and 
Judy Peiser . "Yeah, my hands do a heap of touching in my work. The 
Lord give me the power to cut all disease from the body. These fin 
gers of mine cut the disease fine as cat hairs! 4 

"So when I works people over, I works them from the top of 
their head to the end of their feets. I pass my hands over the body 
and I kinda squeeze all the temperature of hurt out turn it loose 
and let it go. Then my fingers find where the misery is. My hand go 
to beating fast as electricity, just be hitting all over the body, untwist 
ing and unloading disease and throw it out to the atmosphere. When 
my hand finds where the trouble is in the body, it don't go no fur 
ther. It be beating like a sewing machine. That hand get to whopping 
and pulling and mangling the disease, until it find out whatever 
aches and pains is in the body. And when the fingers have cut the 
disease, it is gone, just gone! 

126 Company of Prophets 

"That is the way my hand works with the Lord/' 
Fannie Bell is the mother of ten children. She has thirty grand 
children. A talent for singing is there in the group, but none of the 
children so far has manifested a gift for healing or experienced vi 
sions. The family has lived in the Centreville, Mississippi area for 
fifty years. 

"I have done a great job in my life. I don't want to make up any 
thing false. What I see is true/' Fannie Bell summarizes. 

'The good spirit is in me 'cause God wanted me to have it. I 
have healing hands/' 5 explained Lillian Chatman in an interview for 
the Arizona Daily Star in the late 1970s. 

"I'm an old woman, I wish I could heal forever 

Chatman was five when first she knew of this "good spirit" 
within. "It remains alive and well within my broken body/' she said 
shortly before her death in 1984. 

After Chatman's repeated success at relieving an employer's 
headaches in her earlier years, that employer, recognizing a power 
in Chatman's hands, sponsored her training as a masseuse. Chat- 
man worked in bath houses in Texas, and later in New Mexico, as 
suaging physical pain by her touch. 

In the 1940s she moved to Bakersfield, California. There, under 
the tutelage of Bishop Coleman Hill of the International Constitu 
tional Spiritual Church, she developed her ability to heal into a help 
ing tool she used for more than forty years. 

"The Bishop read my mother the first time she came through 
his door," says her son, Frank Gipson. "He said she was a born 
healer, a seer, a reader, and a Mother. He said she needed papers." 

Frank recalls the constant flow of people requesting help with 
physical, emotional, and spiritual problems. They arrived at his 
mother's home at all hours. She turned no one away. She placed her 
hands on the area of distress; with prayer she directed the pain away 
from the body. Her large eyes were intensely penetrating as she 

Mother Chatman, who was born in Crockett, Texas in 1903, as 
cribed her powers to the good spirit dwelling in her which had been 
willed there by God. People came from parts of Arizona, California, 

Gifted in Physical Healing 127 

and Mexico seeking her help. Members of the medical school faculty 
at the University of Arizona studied her gift in healing. 

In Tucson, Chatman founded a Spiritual church. In addition to 
healing, she taught. 

Besides performing laying on of hands, she transmitted healing 
energies through prayer. Incense and water were part of her process. 
Her voice was also a strong instrument. She often worked by tele 
phone. There was the case of the woman calling from California who 
had a chronic problem with nose-bleeding. The bleeding stopped at 
Mother Chatman's command, given over the telephone. 

John, her husband, regarding her work as important, had 
routed unending streams of people through their home in a manner 
that bespoke his love and respect for what she did. Chatman once 
said she couldn't explain her gift. "It just works/ 7 she said. "The peo 
ple keep coming/ 7 

"Sickness passed through my mother's hands and left from 
people. She would perspire when she touched them/ 7 explains her 
son. "She had a paralyzing stroke in 1975. Before then she was work 
ing around the clock/ 7 Frank remembers. "Healing was something 
she loved. It was her mission. Even when she was paralyzed. 77 

It was said that white people were hunting her father with 
guns and bloodhounds. She got a gun and went to stop them. In the 
middle of her pursuit, a voice called her name and bade her to 
look up. 

"Go home and minister to God 7 s people/ 7 

On returning home Ma Sue picked up the Bible and easily read 
it. Until that time she had been illiterate. 

Ma Sue Atcherson lived most of her life in La Grange, Georgia. 
The eldest of thirteen children, she raised her sisters and brothers. 
Their parents died sometime shortly after the Civil War. 

Accounts are that she was around forty years old when she be 
gan healing and teaching, practices which she continued until her 
death at the age of 101 or 104 years old. 

Stipes McWhorter lives in Carrolton, Georgia. He was a stu 
dent at West Georgia College, and in constant physical pain, when 
he met Ma Sue in 1970. "A seven-ton truck ran over me three-and-a- 

128 Company of Prophets 

half years before I met her. She rubbed my right knee and said a few 
sacred words. The pain became bearable after my first visit to her 
and has been at that level since that time. 

"Ma Sue taught me telepathically . Three times over ten days, I 
would wake up knowing things I had no way to know. When I had 
an idea, I would wake up with the whole concept/' Stipes knew it 
was she who had helped him. 

"She had a young-old face, and it looked that way for many, 
many years." 

A woman was in a terrible auto accident. Three physicians 
treated her, but eight or nine months after the accident all the glass 
still had not been removed from her hand. Her pain was so intense, 
she could no longer work as a typist. 

Stipes met the woman's husband during that eight- or nine- 
month period. "I said, T know of a psychic connected with the Col 
lege.' They drove to La Grange to see Ma Sue. 

"That lady was not old but she had aged with pain. She had 
wrinkles and a frown from pain. When she returned from La 
Grange, her skin was smooth. 

"Piece by piece the glass worked its way out over eight to ten 
weeks. I witnessed it." 

Lori Ethel Squires was also among the West Georgia College 
parapsychology students studying with Ma Sue in 1970. Lori be 
friended and stayed in close touch with the elderly healer until she 
left the area in 1976. 

"Ma Sue was 102 when I first met her . . . She never went to 
school. Ma Sue told me, 'I can read anything/ " Lori took textbooks 
to her from West Georgia College and Ma Sue read them like an edu 
cated person. 

"She was busy healing. Her yard would be full of Rolls Royces, 
limousines, people from all over the United States. People sent her 
letters every day. There was money all over her house," Lori remem 

"When I came, Ma Sue told her daughter, 'Jessie, let that little 
teacher in. I've been watching her in the fire/ 

"She lived in a little bitty black shack. She didn't want to 
move." Ma Sue seemed unconcerned about physical possessions 
and money. She continued to live in the same small, rundown shack 
even after she could afford a better situation. 

"She outlived all of her sisters and brothers. . . . She did a range 

April King 
Chapters 1&9 

Reverend Nelly e Mae Taylor 
Chapters 1 &2 

Above: Bakara Oni 
Chapters 1 & 9 

Right: Alpha Omega 
Chapters 1 & 5 

Art by Eddie Cabral 

Mother Susie Booth 
(center figure, seated) 

Minnie Evans 
Chapters 1^3 

Painting by Minnie Evans 

Painting by Minnie Evans 
Chapters 1 & 3 

Painting by Minnie Evans 

June Juliet Gatlin 
Chapters 1, 4,5 &7 

Alpha Omega 

Chuck Wagner 
Chapters 1,4 &< 

Above: Richmond Barthe 
Chapters 3,4,5&7 

Right: Sculpture by Richmond Barthe 
"Pregnant Madonna" 

Fannie Bell Chapman 

Reverend Peter Brown 
Chapters 1, 2,5 & 6 

Hayward Coleman 
Chapters 4, 6,7 & 9 

Reverend Mary Bivens 
Chapters 8&9 

Mary Bivens and associate 

Left: Henry Rucker 
Chapters 1,5, 6, 8 & 10 

Below: Henry Rucker 
(2nd row, 3rd from right) 

Luisah Teish 
Chapters 7 ,8, 9 & 10 

Queen Ann Prince 
Chapter 10 

James "Son" Thomas 
Chapter 10 

Reverend Estelle Ellerbee 
Chapters 2,3,4,6&7 

Soyim Grayer 
Chapters 1,7,9& 10 

Soyini Grayer and daughter, Bakara Oni 

Betty Comes 
Chapters 1 &5 

Master Walter Thomas (Chapter 3) and Joyce Noll 

Gifted in Physical Healing 129 

of healings including drug healings. She worked on every kind of 
disease. She would ask about the problem. She opened her Bible to 
Psalm 23, and lay her hand on it. She did not touch people. She 
would hold out her hand to them and quote the Scripture. 

"I think she traveled out of her body a lot/' Lori concludes. 

Some faculty members and students in the Parapsychology De 
partment at West Georgia College participated in making a film ti 
tled Psychics, Saints, and Scientists. Ma Sue and witnesses to her heal 
ing abilities are presented in it. 

Janie Veal, a parapsychologist, was a graduate student at West 
Georgia College who met Ma Sue in the early 1970s. "Ma Sue didn't 
give readings. She was a woman who healed the heart as well as the 
body/ 7 Janie observes. "There was a presence about her. She was 
fragile looking, very slender, with not much hair. She wore it 
braided. Her skin was medium brown. Her eyes were alert. She had 
beautiful hands. She would rub olive oil on your hands and arms. 
She would almost croon and would talk about the things that were 
deepest in your heart. 

"Ma Sue always had her Bible. She talked in a sing-song voice. 
'What is on your heart? 7 she would say. She had you write down 
what bothered you. She put it inside her Bible/' Janie pauses, reflect 
ing. "The time I spent with her was a magical time. She was an ex 
tremely religious person. Extremely gifted. She gave a person a 
wonderful feeling." 

Sculptor Richmond Barthe has a photographic memory. He 
needs only to study a person's features briefly, then he can go home 
and reproduce his observations with preciseness in clay. "I study the 
face on the subway, street or stage or some place like that, I go home, 
I sleep all night, I get up the next morning, I get my armatures ready, 
and I get my clay. Then I move back to last night and copy what I see, 
a mental picture." 

Barthe's basic schooling ended with the seventh grade. He re 
ceived no art training before his admission to the Chicago Institute 
of Art, where he studied from 1924 through 1928. His admission to 
the Art Institute was arranged by a Catholic priest who recognized 
Barthe's remarkable artistic talent after viewing a painting of the 

130 Company of Prophets 

head of Christ which the youth had done. 

At one point in his career, Barthe conceived of creating a sculp 
ture of the Virgin Mary, and was making plans to that effect. He pro 
posed to replicate her in a condition of pregnancy. "I wanted a very 
beautiful, young, Jewish face of a girl. I had a Jewish friend. I de 
cided I was going to use her as a model. I knew her height and every 
thing. When I finished it, I called Sondra. 

" 'I have a surprise for you. Fve just finished doing a figure of 
you as the pregnant Virgin Mary/ 

"She was anxious to see it. She said, 'Wait until I tell Otto!' 

"Sondra and Otto, her husband, had been wanting more than 
anything in the world to have a child. But they couldn't have one. 
This had been going on for fifteen or sixteen years. Sondra came over 
and was thrilled with the pregnant figure. I got the very likeness of 
her plus the spiritual aspect. 

"A month or so later, Sondra called me. She said, 'Have I news 
for you! I really am pregnant! 7 

"She had a girl. She called her Eve. Eve is grown now. If Sondra 
had not seen herself life-size pregnant, I'm sure she would never had 
had this child." 

"Oh! Lord, I will never take another bit of medicine while I live 
without you tell me to! //6 vowed Amanda Smith in surrendering the 
state of her physical health to the Will of God. "I got up and threw 
out all my medicines I had a few simple remedies in the house 
and for a year and eight months I never touched anything. Oh! What 
wonderful lessons the Lord taught me at that time/ 7 she wrote in the 
An Autobiography, Amanda Smith in the late nineteenth century. 

Spirit whispered to Amanda in a voice as clear and distinct as a 
person, warning her of risks to her health as she went about her daily 
living. "I would hear the Spirit whisper . . . 'You are sitting in a 
draught. 7 Often I have looked around to see if there was not really a 
person speaking . . . 

I would feel a pain in my back, or neck, or somewhere. 
Then I would at once look up to God and say, "Now, Lord 
teach me the lesson you want I should learn; and then do 
please relieve me of this pain/' . . . Sometimes He would bless 

Gifted in Physical Healing 131 

me so ... But the Lord knew how to teach me, praised be His 
name. So at the expiration of a year and eight months ... I took 
a severe cold. 

I never thought of medicine. The Lord was my physi 
cian, and had done everything I asked for myself and my child 
for a year and eight months, so of course He would now. So I 
prayed as aforetime, but still grew worse. Oh! how dreadfully 
ill I was. But I held on. Oh! how I did cry to God for deliver 
ance. For three days and nights I could not lie down, my 
cough was so bad. I had a raging fever. My head ached, and 
every bone in my body ached, I still grew worse, until the 
morning of the fourth day. I tried to get my clothes on, but 
could not stand up long enough. 

Oh! what shall I do ... Oh! how I cried and prayed. Oh! 
Lord . . . What have I done? Thou didst always heal me when I 
asked Thee, and now Thou seest I can hardly hold my head 
up, I am so sick . . . Now, Lord, I will just be quiet till Thou dost 
speak to me and tell me what I have done, and why Thou dost 
not heal me as Thou usest to do. 

So I waited a f ew minutes; I don't know how long; then it 
seemed as though the Lord Jesus in person stood by me; such 
a peaceful hush came all over me, and He seemed to say . . . 
"Now, if you knew the Lord wanted you to take medicine 
would you be willing?" 

"No, Lord, you always have healed me without medi 
cine, and why not now? What have I done?" 

Then it seemed just as though a person spoke and said, 
"No, no, but if you knew it was God's will, would you be will 
ing?" I said, "No, Lord; you can heal me without medicine, 
and I don't want to take it." 

Then the patient, gentle voice said the third time, "If you 
knew it was God's will for you to take medicine would you be 
willing to do God's will?" 

Oh! how I cried. I saw it, but I said, "No, Lord, I don't like 
medicine; but Thou canst conquer my will. I don't want to live 
with my will in opposition to Thy will. Thou must conquer." 

It seemed wonderfully sweet to die to my own will, and 
sink into God. So just then it came to me to use a simple rem 
edy that I had used a thousand times before, and in twenty- 
four hours I was* as well as ever. I never got over a cold like 
that before in my life in so short a time; a cold like that would 
always be a three weeks' siege. 

1 32 Company of Prophets 

"I've been healing since I was a girl/ 7 Although no specific inci 
dents come to mind from that period of her healing, Mother Brown 
remains inspired when she recalls the "joy of that day I received 
Christ when I was a small girl. 

"The Lord told me to wear white a long time ago. He told me to 
get rid of all my other clothes and wear these/ 7 She points to her long 
white dress and cap. 

A respected healer in Durham, North Carolina's African 
American community, Mother Brown, now in her eighties, works in 
two ways: laying on of hands, and praying for healing over distance. 
She has helped many who were troubled by a wide range of physical 
and emotional ills. 

The only child left in a family of seven, she experienced fully 
the offerings of severe living in her times. She is well acquainted 
with plowing fields, chopping wood, and picking cotton. 

For more than thirty years she has followed the divine directive 
to wear white, and in that same time she has held weekly church 
meetings in her home. She frequently bursts into song, praising the 
Lord, and is carried away into ecstatic moods. 

While in her late seventies, Mother Brown became the instru 
ment for her own healing. "I woke up with real strong pains in my 
arm. I heard a voice, the voice of the Lord that said to me I was hav 
ing a stroke/' 

"Get out of bed and jump three times!" His voice commanded. 
With great effort she followed the instructions. The pain lessened, 
then with the completion of the exercise, vanished. 

Prior to one parishioner joining her church, healer Bishop But 
ler had come upon him in his makeshift residence at the city dump. 
He suffered from blood poisoning caused by an injury which had 
left both legs extremely swollen and putrefied. He turned down 
medical care because treatment was to be the amputation of both 

"I asked the Lord what I could do for his legs and he told me 
what to do." 7 

Bishop Butler is the minister of the Beauty of Holiness Church 
of the Lord God in Creation, a Spiritual church in New Orleans. The 

Gifted in Physical Healing 1 33 

example of her work with this man is presented by author Michael 
Smith in his book Spirit World. 

She returned to the dump to ask Frank Gilbert if he believed the 
Lord would heal his legs. The sick man replied that he did. "Then I 
brought him to my house. I anointed his legs with hot oils and 
prayed over it. Then one of his legs popped open like a hot potato 
and a kind of steam came out. I got two basins full of corruption out 
of that leg. 

"My husband got frightened and ran out of the house to a 
neighbor. He thought I was going to be arrested for practicing medi 
cine ... So we took Mr. Gilbert to a doctor . . . The doctor gave him a 
shot and said to keep on doing what we had been doing. Then the 
legs began to heal up/ 7 

Frank Gilbert attested to this healing, verifying all that Bishop 
Butler had said. 

"My gift was great until I found God, then it became greater. I 
realized after I was saved how to use my gift with greater conscious 
ness. I prayed to God to let me go as far as possible with my gift/ 7 
Betty Comes is a healer and psychic who in the course of her career 
has given readings to movie stars. These celebrities include Eartha 
Kitt, Freda Payne, Fred Williamson, and Vince Edwards. 

She has an ability to see through people's bodies, with x-ray vi 
sion, as they sit before her. She can detect in the body the sites where 
an individual had operations even many years earlier. People with 
afflictions may be in Betty's presence or at a distance while she trans 
mits healing energies to them. "I am able to detect physical illness. I 
can diagnose what part of the body the illness is in," she informs. 

While attending a party in 1979, Betty became aware that enter 
tainer Lola Falana, who was also present, had an acute physical 
problem. "I took her aside to tell her what I saw/ 7 The tumors seen by 
Betty had already been surmised by the celebrity's physicians. "I 
told her to go ahead with the surgery, she would be all right/ 7 Later 
in a medical follow-up, fifteen tumors were found in Falana's stom 
ach. "I worked with her after the operation, and she was able to 
move about and do exercises very soon afterwards, which surprised 
her doctors. 

1 34 Company of Prophets 

"I only use trance if someone has a serious illness. I only do that 
if it is an emergency. 

"I am able to relieve a person of pain by taking the pain into my 
self, and I get rid of the sickness by praying/ 7 The most disquieting 
part of her work is in the transferring of illness from her clients into 
her own body; but as she reads selected verses of the Psalms, the 
negative energy disperses. 

In the dream state, Betty has full-blown, vivid, and clear visions 
which often come true within a short time. She is conscious of con 
tinuously working in activities of the spiritual realm. 

She notes that her gifts make men reluctant in seeking her com 
pany that people in general tend to be uneasy around her. "I no 
longer long for the things of the earth, I am not into the needs of the 
material body. 

"I am a loner. I stay with God." 

" When I was in kindergarten, my mother said, 'When you were 
a baby I gave you to God/ 

"It kind of plagued me all my life. I had it always in the back of 
my mind that she said, 'I gave you to God and you are going to have 
to work for God/ " So contemplates Henry Rucker, psychic healer, 
in looking back at the possible genesis of his healing ability. 

In March, 1976 Paul Neimark, a Sepia Magazine reporter, wrote 
about Rucker's gifts. "Several leading professionals witnessed this 
happening when they were with Henry on the West Coast recently. 
A woman in a store had acted rudely toward Rucker and instead of 
taking offense, he looked 'inside' her. 8 

" 'I can sometimes look at people and not see the coat or tie or 
dress that they wear, but see through to the skin, or even to their or 
gans/ Rucker says. 'If an area is inflamed or infected, I see it as a 
brighter red/ 

"In this case, Rucker saw that the woman's heart was bothering 
her but that there was nothing wrong with it. 'You've been experi 
encing an irregular heartbeat/ he told her. 'But that's only because of 
some problem with a loved one. It gives you pain in your chest, but 
your heart is physically healthy, though you are very worried about 
it. Because of that, you're making that situation worse with the loved 

Gifted in Physical Healing 135 

one. Your husband, I think. And you're not acting like you usually 
do toward people like me. Because you are actually a very kind indi 

"The woman's eyes opened wide. She didn't say a word. 

"Rucker went on. 'In just a moment the pain will be gone. And 
you're going to your doctor next Monday, I think it is/ The woman 
nodded silently. 'He will also tell you that there is nothing wrong. 
Then you'll decide to go to the real source of pain in your heart. And 
you'll make it right/ 

"Now the woman could speak. She told Rucker, and those with 
him, that everything he said had been 100 per cent correct!" 

Rucker works with Norman Shealy, M.D., director of the Pain 
and Health Rehabilitation Center in La Crosse, Wisconsin. The 
neurosurgeon, who has an interest in exploring the possible use of 
psychics in medicine, contacted Rucker after he learned of his psy 
chic healing reputation. The physician had a personal reading from 
Rucker and began sending patients to him. Several other psychics 
and Rucker participated in a series of experiments concerning pa 
tient diagnoses administered by Shealy. Rucker was found to be cor 
rect 80% of the time. He joined Shealy's clinic staff as a psychic medi 
cal diagnostic consultant and in that role he works with and accom 
panies physicians on their rounds. Other clinics and hospitals in 
Wisconsin, Ohio, and Texas later acquired his services. 

In the Everett Herald, August 11, 1979, reporter Clara Phillips 
noted: "At the pain facility Rucker helps patients 'eliminate pain, 
not tolerate it/ 9 

"Attitude is the most important aspect of physical, emotional 
and spiritual well-being, he says. Pain, he maintains, is guilt turned 
inward. He teaches people to free themselves of guilt and to love 
themselves. After all, he says, when you love yourself, you're loving 

"Rucker also claims diagnostic and healing powers. He says he 
sees through clothing and skin into people's vital organs to discover 
tumors or infections, being correct four out of five times. Because he 
isn't licensed, he collaborates only with doctors, indicating to them 
which tests to run to verify his diagnosis. He also diagnoses from 
photos doctors send him. 

"Rucker's healing technique is 'a little different' from faith 

"Rucker calls his ability 'magnetic healing', and he never 

136 Company of Prophets 

touches a person. 

"Healing energies from his hands can project out to cut away a 
malignant growth or sew up a rupture in a person across the room, 
he says, explaining that he works on the energy field enveloping that 

" 'There are many people in the world who heal without 
knives, anesthesia or prescriptions/ maintains Rucker . 'I think every 
human being heals someone at sometime or other/ " 

"How does this psychic healing actually work?" Dane Head- 
ley, a friend and college newspaper reporter, asked Rucker. 

Rucker responded, "The healing takes place on several levels. 
I've learned that various energies come out of my hands that have 
healing powers. I can project heat across the room. I have done this 
before with you, so it's not a proving type thing. I can take the energy 
and seal a rupture, for example, a hernia. I can pull it back together 
with that energy and knit, sew, and stitch. I can cut and sever with 
power like that of a laser beam." 

Modern People, February 8, 1976, records that Rucker walked up 
to a stranger, a woman in a supermarket, who looked ill. 

"Are you all right?" he asked. 10 

"Just a little dizzy/ 7 she answered. 

"You have a pain in your abdomen," Rucker said sud 
denly. "You've also felt dizzy like this every morning for sev 
eral days. Your mother died of a blood disease last year, and 
you're so afraid that you have it. But you don't. You're in per 
fect health. The reason you feel faint and have that slight pain 
is that you're pregnant with the child you've always 
wanted even though the doctor said you'd never have a 

The woman looked at Rucker in astonishment. "How 
can how could you know all that?" 

"I just know," said Rucker. "And now the pain will be 
gone, now that you understand it. Feel it going . . . going. Is it 

The woman felt her middle. "Yes . . . there's no pain left. 
And I don't feel as dizzy ..." 

Being able to relieve pain comes from two things, ac 
cording to Rucker. "First, I'm able to tune in on what their 
pain is because I'm psychic. And that makes a person trust 

But second, the article continues, Rucker seems to un 
derstand pain, or at least has a new idea about it. ... "Physical 
pain is at least 90 per cent guilt, or something like guilt," he 

Gifted in Physical Healing 137 

says. "Yes, we all get sick. But I've seen people punishing 
themselves by getting sick. And I've also seen people punish 
ing themselves by feeling as much pain as they can once they 

For his book, Psychic City: Chicago, Brad Steiger interviewed 
Rucker regarding the African dialects which the healer and his asso 
ciates have used in their healing work. 

"The particular dialect we use is not important/' 11 Rucker ex 
plained. "We use these dialects in our healing work, because we can 
control powers which are not known by ordinary individuals. We 
use them to change the vibrations in a place. By intoning certain vi 
brations, I can change people's entire concepts. By chanting, I could 
change vibrations in this room so that a person wouldn't want to 
walk through the door. I don't do demonstrations like that just to 
show off or to prove a point, however." 

An article on Rucker in the Globe, July 21, 1981, elaborates. Dr. 
James McNeil, treasurer of the American Holistic Medicine Associa 
tion, said that Rucker performs his diagnoses and healings by 
"working with the patient's energy field. He can manipulate peo 
ple's electromagnetic fields by influencing their thoughts." 12 

One of Rucker's more spectacular healings involved a young 
child who had suffered a severe skull injury in an automobile acci 
dent. Dr. Shealy reported, "There was a hole in the skull that would 
n't heal or grow back together. Henry began working with the child 
and the bone began to heal." 

About the beginnings of his work in healing, Henry recalls, 
"They asked me to lecture as a healer. Meanwhile I had been doing 
healings, and I had stacks of books where people sent me pictures 
for healing. They began to call me from all over the world. 'Would 
you come over to do this here?' After I went to the Philippines with 
the Philippine healers, people asked me to lecture on it, and then I 
would do healings on my own. Then the group came over here and 
we worked together. So I was known as a healer. 

"So much has happened in 20 years/' Henry goes on. "Dr. Nor 
man Shealy came, and I gave him a reading, and he wouldn't leave. 
He stayed for two or three hours. He asked me to come up to his clin 
ic to diagnose his patients. I've worked with him in the clinic since 
1972. 1 function as a counselor, a pastoral and psychological coun 

"My wife and I went to Egypt. I did healing there. They would 

138 Company of Prophets 

line up and tell me about their complaints like a doctor. They've got 
nay picture up in a lot of stores there. I was in Aswan, Cairo, and Kar- 

"I'm not a Jesse Jackson or a Martin Luther King. God has not 
put me on that path. Whatever I do for my race would have to be by 
example. I really try to organize programs they all fall through. I 
really try to be more aware of my black brothers and sisters," assures 

"I reject no man. When people come to me for healings, I don't 
consider their race. I've healed people from South Africa. When pa 
tients come to be healed, I don't pick them. I don't know what my 
mission is. We won't know until I'm dead. I live from day to day/' 

Recalling again his mother's having "given him to God" at an 
early age, Henry concludes, "I do not feel basically that I am the one 
who does the healing. God does the healing. I can't tell you why, but 
maybe God chose me as one of the channels/' 

Alpha Omega had a series of dreams in 1978. Many nights of 
that year she dreamed of being taught in the same classroom setting. 
The dreaming roused an unappeasable interest in reading which led 
her to read a great diversity of books. 

"I had dropped out of regular school in the ninth grade. It had 
been boring. 

"I have never had idols nor have I worshipped people. But I 
have always been enamoured of someone with a fine mind, and 
when I was growing up I often sought out elderly people." 

The dream state classroom held her attention with themes 
dwelling mostly on the cause-and-effect relationships in diseases 
from spiritual sources. She began keeping a notebook, for the in 
sights would even come during waking hours. 

"My interest has always been in dealing with feelings and what 
makes up the human person. 

"I suddenly couldn't read enough. The books were all saying 
the same thing. I was being led to the religious context in all the 

"Then I began to write. For an entire year I wrote. In 1979 
through 1981 the writings continued. I carried the notebook to re- 

Gifted in Physical Healing 139 

cord about disease, its cause and effect. 

"I was going through many changes in my feelings. I began to 
experience more love. It was almost to the point of being painful ... I 
began to get the realization that I should stop doubting. I felt I was 
being prepared for understanding. 

"A person reaches a point in seeking and becomes sensitive to 
everything outside himself. Crisis provides the path to evolvement 
This occurred with me. I had reached a point where nothing was 
right. I was living on the outside and life was leading nowhere/ 7 

To gain understanding, she attended psychic meetings. At one 
a reader said healing power radiated from Alpha's energy field. The 
energy would turn harmfully inward if not utilized, the psychic 
warned. The reader, who held meetings in her own home, invited 
Alpha to the next one. A room full of people was already gathered 
when Alpha arrived, waiting for her to work on them. Although she 
protested, she soon found herself working among those lined up for 
help with natural certainty, moving her hands over their heads. One 
woman, complaining of a chronic thyroid problem, told Alpha that 
her condition improved after that session. Several other people with 
physical ailments spoke of the healing benefits they felt after her 

With the new-found ability came an extremely uncomfortable 
side-effect. It seemed that the pains, emotions, and spiritual blocks, 
suffered by the people she had treated, amassed in Alpha's body 
and auric space. She absorbed the negative energy from their old 
and current ills and experienced aching and malaise. Discouraged, 
she resorted to intense prayer and meditation for guidance in han 
dling the side-effects. "I had to get closer to God. I started meditating 
and reading the Bible. I prayed that if I was to be the vehicle to help 
others that God would give me more knowledge/ 7 

A new manifestation appeared when she resumed her work. 
Whenever she gave treatments, she belched. The aching and dis 
comfort dissipated as she belched, and eventually the discomforts 
ceased. Belching, she learned, allowed energy, which had previ 
ously accumulated in her, to be released. She could actually feel the 
energy pulling away from the organs of her body through the proc 
ess. Those receiving treatment also began belching with beneficial 

"My biggest battle as not to become a big ego, as I was getting 
much attention. I had to work at understanding I was just a vehicle 

140 Company of Prophets 

that other forces were working through. Many people have been so 

As Alpha worked on people, she gradually realized she was 
dealing with energy fields. Revealed to her was that each individual 
had a timing system which she could audibly perceive. There were 
distinct sounds and voices in each one's psychic space. She often 
picked up the impressions of relatives and friends as she worked on 
a person. Their ailments and problems were there, as influences on 
the sick one. She heard harps and singing from one person; these she 
successfully recorded on tape. There was also the time she was able 
to control the flow of blood from someone injured. And among the 
treated, one of them gained psychic abilities as Alpha worked on 

"I have gone back with people to their basic personalities and 
the creative areas of their minds. I began to pick up energy near the 
beginning of time/ 7 

Alpha Omega lives in New York City. Through teaching and 
lecturing she encourages individuals to move towards higher states 
of consciousness and realizing spiritual potential. She continues to 
receive insight on how she is to work. "Nothing is beyond our 
knowledge/' she affirms. 

She recorded psychic sounds as part of her treatment proce 
dure. It became evident that when she touched a person's body, the 
sounds from his or her energy field could be transmitted to tape and 
thereby be perceptible to others as well. She plans to use this infor 
mation to further understand spiritual energy. "If I can bring to the 
world in sound and in sight what energy really is and what we are 
composed of I'll be satisfied. When people can see that we are not 
just one entity but many, we can begin to understand." 

"Jennie Benson/' the Lord said, "You are going to heal." 

She was a teenager when Reverend F. A. Jones, an evangelist, 

went to her home to talk with her. "The Lord told me to tell you, 

Jennie, that you can't do like other girls. That you were born for a 

purpose and he wants to use you." 

During her young teen years, Jennie moved to Jackson from 

her home in rural Mississippi, then on to Memphis. Her next move 

Gifted in Physical Healing 141 

was to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where she fell ill and was hospit 

"I'll never forget my chart number, D3925. One day the doctor 
came in to pick up my chart and said, 'I don't know what's keeping 
you here. A strong constitution? You are dead but you haven't quit 
breathing! 7 " She wasn't even well the day she was discharged from 
the hospital. On the way home the Lord spoke to her. 

"You're going to heal my sick and you're going to prophesy my 
name. When you promise me all these things, I will let you up/' 

"The Lord let me up and I started preaching. When I first 
started out I was fourteen. "There is something about you when God 
calls you; you can study all you want, but when you get up to speak, 
it all goes except what God wants you to say," she states. 

At eighteen she moved to Cleveland, prompted by a divine di 
rective to heal alcoholics and drug addicts. "When I moved to Cleve 
land, I had thirty-five dollars in my pocket and no friends there. I 
was in Cleveland about three months and I was already conducting 
a service. God moves so!" 

Jennie's mother would go miles to hear Georgiana, her adopted 
daughter, sing; but she refused to go hear Jennie preach. The 
adopted daughter had a health problem. "She would eat and food 
would come back up. She would break out in large perspiration. 

"God came to my mother in her sleep one night and said, T'm 
going to heal your daughter, Georgiana, but I'm going to heal her 
through your daughter, Jennie/ " 

On the designated Sunday night, Jennie's sister attended serv 
ice. "Call your sister up," the Lord told Jennie, "I'm going to heal 
her now." 

"As she walked up, I said, 'In the name of Jesus Christ, be thou 
healed.' She fell on the floor, and she hasn't been sick since that day! 
God knows all this is true; I wouldn't have said that if it weren't 

Jennie Benson Vaughn founded the St. Teresa Holiness Science 
Church in Nashville in 1979 with her husband, Frank, also a minis 
ter. It was not the first church she had set up. Several years earlier, 
she had established a church in Cleveland, Ohio. She is known for 
helping those lacking economic resources in the community. 

In healing she stretches out her hands or touches the troubled 
person, saying, "Be healed in the name of Jesus Christ!" Jennie af 
firms with determination, "I will continue to heal the sick. We give 

142 Company of Prophets 

the needy clothing and give them food when they come by and ask 
for it. 

"Over the last ten or twelve years I don't pay attention to what 
people say. All I know is what God says. That's what counts!" 

The graceful exactness of Tureeda's hand motions trace back to 
an old, old science. Its origin is Egyptian. She is aware of a deity 
working through her. An inner voice instructs her how to work with 
each person. Dietary information, included in readings, flows from 
both her intuitive and technical knowledge. 

Tureeda Mikell works to reclaim physical health. Through the 
agency of her hands, healing starts, then accelerates. The energy an 
individual has absorbed from the world dissolves as she moves her 
hands over and near the body. Assisting people in contacting and 
aligning with their higher selves, she enables mending between the 
physical and the spiritual, and the restoration of well-being. 

Recently Tureeda learned that the instinctively developed 
hand movements she has used for years in her spiritual and physical 
healing work are known as "mudras." The information was con 
veyed to her by an Indian yogi observer. Constituting a sign lan 
guage in Hindu and Buddhist religious traditions, mudras are mys 
tical poses of the hand or hands used in worship, yoga and inconog- 
raphy. States of awareness and psychic energy levels are influenced 
by them. 

"I prayed one morning when I was going through a lot of stuff 
about what it was I was doing. This old man called right after I had 
done this strong prayer. He said, 'What you have is so old that you 
can't go around and try to chuck it down everybody's throat. What 
you're going to have to have is patience. Something just told me to 
call and tell you that/ " 

A native Californian, Tureeda lives in the San Francisco Bay 

"I played nurse when I was a child. My parents always wanted 
me to play the piano, and I played classical piano for seventeen 
years. But in college, science became my major and music, my 

Tureeda has taken different roles in healing. At five her abilities 

Gifted in Physical Healing 143 

were already evident. Her first young effort brought family mem 
bers relief from pain and tension through massage. She saw colors 
radiating from people; and there was, too, the sound of inner voices 
which at times seemed a host of varied instruments offering comfort 
and counseling to the little girl. Although Tureeda's mother ac 
cepted her daughter's hands to soothe an arthritic condition, she 
firmly discouraged the child's talk of colors and disembodied 
voices. The psychic aspect of her daughter's personality the mother 
tried to arrest by pushing her toward aesthetic activities where she 
showed talent, such as with piano, ballet, and violin. 

While working in hospitals after completing nursing school, 
Tureeda perceived traditional medical technology did not allow for 
the physical/ spiritual healing process needed by the sick. She 
sensed that the suppression and removal of diseased body parts did 
not lead to a stable recovery. She realized her spiritual self was ex 
tending into the patients' spaces, blending with them, as she worked 
to assist them. Telepathic exchanges occurred between her and pa 
tients with their emotions and pains being absorbed by her. 

"I became a nurse when I was 21. 1 walked in this man's room 
and felt his medication on my body. He was getting medication in 
his right eye and I could feel it in my left. I was mirroring people, and 
that got to be a bit deep. I could wheel people from surgery and feel 
their missing parts . . . When you remove a part that is diseased, it 
does not cure the situation. If they have had one operation, they have 
to have several. They have to keep removing parts which have been 
affected. That made me realize, too, how ignorant people are in their 
understanding of what medicine is. 

"The intuitive had been happening for years. I didn't know I 
was doing it. People told me. 

"A friend once said, 'You psychic thing, you!' 

'Tt turned out that I was actually reading him. I didn't know 
what he was talking about. I was just being me." 

She concludes, "You cannot deal with this world unless you 
know who you are." 

Medical procedures, she saw, physically smothered or severed 
the patient's signals of distress from the diseased areas. But the sig 
nals still flashed on a spiritual level unheeded. Tureeda came to re 
gard these as "missing information." She laid aside her career in 
nursing when she concluded that she could not use traditional 
medicine as a means to assist in healing. Its techniques did not align 

1 44 Company of Prophets 

with her perception that both the physical and spiritual had to be ad 
dressed for healing to take place. 

"I use my hands and my hands basically tell a story. I clear the 
energy people have absorbed from the world and put them in touch 
with their higher being. That's the physical thing I do. That's the 
mending that takes place between their body and spirit. 

"My sister almost had a hysterectomy at 21. 1 told her what to 
do. Her doctor said she was probably too scarred to have a child. She 
was pregnant two months later. She had a Scorpio son. I've done this 
with two women whom doctors told they were not going to have ba 
bies. They both had Scorpio boys. 

"These are things which have always made me realize that 
there is something greater at work. I know that I am a catalyst and a 
tool. There is something greater. I cannot plan this. I am not respon 
sible. I am the instrument. My head is in no way big. I know I am the 
instrument. I tell people this when I do readings/ 7 

At twenty-six, Tureeda began a search for greater understand 
ing on how to use her healing gift. Buddhism and metaphysical 
training advanced her awareness, providing orientation. The gifts 
already present became stronger and defined. Through voice, vi 
sion, and the healing power in her hands, she established her way to 

"It is indeed an old science. I have seen things numerically, 
astrologically, physiologically, anatomically that relate to what 
Truth is." 

Tureeda does not confine her service to healing. She is a poet, a 
spiritual reader, and an astrologer. At local colleges she talks on 
spiritual healing and psychic ability within the African American 
culture. She reads her poetry in the elementary schools to arouse 
within African American children, especially, an interest in becom 
ing aware of themselves, and in learning to be harmonious within 
the self. She has found that many African American children do not 
like their skin color. 

After one presentation, Tureeda received from one child a letter 
which read, "Thank you for telling me I am love." 


Expelling Negative 

That they were to wait . . . was all that could be 
remembered by most of the tenants of the human edifice (this 
one was a black woman's body). 

Any one of these spirit occupants could will itself over a 
short distance beyond the body's aura. But a journey was 
never long before the entity was impelled to return. Not 
bonded to the body, but to each other (soul to soul) in secrecy 
and mystery so deep they had simply forgotten how they had 
become a compulsive congregation of spiritual beings, 
moving from one incarnation to another, attached to each 
other as if they were one. 

Each time they incarnated, it was much like bees in 
setting up a new hive. One (it was always the same spirit) 
would take a position around the head and eyes. It moved in a 
freer manner, floating in and out around the body, radiating 
its presence. When it communicated with the other spirits 
(telepathically as they all did) what it said was taken as 
command, because its energy flowed stronger. 

Amnesia covered them all except for the higher sentient 
spirit. But even it was not complete or near perfect in its 
knowing. It only partly comprehended its own identity and 
half -knew a vagueness of the secret which kept it bound to the 
other spirits. 

But sentient it was indeed, in the company of the 
insensible, the half-awakened, and the lethargic. 


146 Company of Prophets 

All spiritual beings, embodied and disembodied, when in posi 
tive energy states, are naturally inclined to be of friendly disposition 
and helpful toward other spiritual beings. The endowments of spiri 
tual beings include qualities such as flowingness, lightness, illumi 
nation, harmony, and potentials of certainty, complete awareness, 
and total understanding. 

Inversely, a spiritual being can become blocked from its natural 
state of spirit brotherhood by conflict, in various forms of negative 
energy characterized by disagreement, misconception, and misin 
terpretation, that lie for ages unresolved. The records and images of 
discordant times accumulate in the individual's space in the form of 
harmful energy. Over the ages, such a spirit's boundaries become 
thickened, clouded, and constricted. 

Spiritual beings naturally abstain from creating confusion, 
contention, and destruction; but a being, unable to repair these 
negative conditions, maybe moved to act out the negative energy in 
its space, in deeds of hostility and harm toward other spiritual 
beings. When an entity performs more negative actions than 
positive ones, it is on a path of Revolvement. At any point, when 
negativity is the dominant creation of a being, that spirit, for the 
time, is a negative spirit. 

The majority of earthbound spirits are not negative entities, but 
a negative minority does exist among them. Some of the 
circumstances which keep disembodied beings in the physical 
realm are excessive desire for sensation, continuing desire to own 
material things, disorientation, lack of knowledge, and unresolved 
matters from recent lifetimes especially injurious acts to others. 

It has been said that negativity can only be expressed in the 
physical realm and in a few of the levels of the astral realms; and that 
no spiritual being engaged in negativity can locate above these 
vibratory levels because of the entity's denseness. 

This chapter describes the psychics who are skilled in 
dispelling the presence and influences of disembodied negative 
spirits that are harassing, influencing, and obsessing positively 
directed human beings. 

Expelling Negative Spirits 147 

Hayward Coleman, a Southern California mime who incor 
porates yoga into his performances, shares an experience he 
underwent as part of his spiritual development. At one point his 
etheric body was invaded by a lower astral being. This entity for a 
while deceived Hayward by pretending to be his spiritual teacher. 

"So I found myself going to the bars and drinking wine which I 
never do. So here I am drinking wine . . . and I begin to suspect this 
voice. Then the voice confessed and said he was a soldier in the 
French Army and was killed. He just wanted to be my friend, but he 
always needed to drink some wine. And by using my body he 
would be able to drink and enjoy the wine. 

"You see, when people die, it doesn't make any difference. 
Nothing is eliminated. They still have the same desire, the same 
cravings. In Buddhism they teach you to eliminate the desires and 
the cravings in this life so that you can be a greater being and go on to 
greater levels or states of consciousness/' Hayward advises. 

"A lot of the beings who pass on still have the same desires to 
smoke a cigar, or whatever. They find vehicles to realize this, and I 
had become one of those vehicles unknowingly. Once I became 
cognizant of that fact the entity did leave. 

Hayward recognizes "this was something I had to go through. 
It was like an initiation period to be able to understand all the 
different astral levels/ 7 

"I went to a house not long ago where pictures were falling off 
the wall, dishes off the kitchen table, when no one was anywhere 
near. It was obviously some form of spirit which had been let loose 
by some hostile member of the house. 1 

"When people have strong negative feelings that they can't 
express . . . ghosts appear," remarked Henry Rucker of Chicago who 
founded the Psychic Research Foundation in that city in 1969. He 
told a reporter from Modern People that he had gone to many houses 
to remove ghosts. 

He visited the home with the mysterious occurrences to find 
that recently the parents had sent an older son away from the house 
to a military school. "The younger brother felt abandoned, and as a 

1 48 Company of Prophets 

result he was releasing these evil forces through a ghost. Ghosts are 
always activated by some person who has a lot of negative feelings, 
and doesn't know what to do with them. 

"Once I was able to talk with the boy/' Rucker said, "things 
were okay and dishes stopped flying off the table/ 7 

In an article in Sepia Magazine Rucker described one of his 
"ghostbreaking" activities which occurred in California. At the 
request of a woman whose home was under an attack by 
earthbound entities, he traveled from Chicago to Los Angeles. The 
besiegement had terrified the divorced woman, her fourteen-year- 
old daughter, eleven-year-old son, and two other relatives. The 
ghosts' deeds, observed by Rucker, included smashing objects 
against walls from considerable distances, dislodging pictures from 
walls with such force they would break on the floor, and creating in 
the house gusts of wind which blew the drapes wildly about. 

Rucker explained how the situation was created and resolved. 
"What you must understand about ghostbreaking is that 
individuals in the house itself are often their (ghosts') power source. 
In this case I discovered that it was the eleven-year-old boy. He was 
intensely hostile about his parents' divorce, and was activating these 
spirits because of it. 2 

"I was able to disperse the negative forces in the house by 
dealing with the boy's own negative feelings. He had been having 
'dreams', for example, that he was not a Negro, but a Japanese. And 
also, an Indian witch doctor. When he told his mother this, he met 
with even more resistance. 

"But when he told me, it was a different story. I've seen some 
evidence of reincarnation, and what this boy was calling up might 
have been the past lives where he had these powers. We talked, and 
he recognized me from one of his past lives. We got along fine, and 
the boy's hostility abated. And with it, the spirits dispersed." 

Henry Rucker teaches classes in self-awareness development 
and psychic sciences. He has lectured and given classes and 
workshops throughout the United States at colleges, corporate 
organizations, and conventions. He travels abroad to do healings 
and lecturing. 

For Rucker, psychic abilities are not inherited traits. However, 
he recognizes the characteristics of a healer in his oldest son. On 
occasion when he was young, his son, who can perceive deceased 
persons, would accompany Rucker on ghost-hunting rounds. As a 

Expelling Negative Spirits 149 

team they worked to rid houses of negative forces. Sometimes the 
child performed exorcisms without assistance. Rucker considers 
this son, now an adult, to possess the same quality and range of 
psychic talent he has. 

"In the name of Jesus, come out!" With this cry, Mother 
Ellerbee, evangelist and spiritual counselor, commands negative 
spirits who are obsessing her parishioners. "Some demons would 
say, 'We are not coming out!' " she says. Then the struggle 
intensifies, with the person's body rolling and thrashing around on 
the floor, and spitting out foam and pus. But the entity eventually 
flees at Mother Ellerbee's constant prayerful cries to God in her 
battle with it. 

"Other demons use strategies/' Mother Ellerbee continues. 
"They pretend they are angels of light. Some say, T'm fine!' " But the 
evangelist senses that the demon is still there, acting deceitfully, 
speaking as if it were the parishioner. "You lying demon!" Mother 
Ellerbee charges, and resumes her prayer in the exorcism process. 
She indicates that these spirits have intelligence, but it is used for 
evil. Mother Ellerbee perceives when a sickness is caused or 
aggravated by demon possession. She summons these demons out, 
identifying the illness with them. After a negative spirit's exit, pain 
and the symptoms of the illness leave. She works with medical 
doctors who believe in the power of spiritual prayer in the healing 

At one meeting, a visiting woman, darkened by despondency 
and confusion, improved almost immediately after Mother Ellerbee 
laid hands on her. She almost glowed as she told the group how 
much better she felt. But before the gathering was over, a young girl 
across the room slipped from her chair to the floor, and lay there 
with her eyes rolled back. Discerning the sameness about the body's 
vibrations, Mother Ellerbee sensed the demon had transferred. 
Before dislodging the spirit again, Mother Ellerbee had all the 
spiritually vulnerable ushered from the room, and handed Bibles to 
others. The transferring spirit was finally exorcised. 

In his work with Mother Ellerbee, her son, Clarence, often sees 
the effects of negative forces removed. In church settings, and 

1 50 Company of Prophets 

prayer meetings, usually two or three spiritually strong and 
consecrated people stand around Mother Ellerbee while she lays her 
hands on people to command demons to come out in the name of 
Jesus. The ministrations may last five minutes or as long as five 

"The door for demon spirits to enter/' Clarence relates, "is 
often opened by hatred, resentment, jealousy, fear, and the effects 
that drugs and alcohol have on the self. The deliberate use of rituals 
for evil intent, and other negative emotions and negative conditions, 
are also factors. 

"There would be a definite change in the face and the voice and 
the eyes of the victim/ 7 Clarence says. "After exorcism, a look of 
peace comes into the eyes. With heavy demonic presence there is fog 
or darkness. But when it is cleared up, you can see light, and the 
person has a cleaner look. People would become free and healed of 
their emotions and bad habits/ 7 

Mother Ellerbee speaks of battles with evil presences even as a 
child, and of times she dispelled them by herself through calling 
upon the help of God. "My success in the physical world is the result 
of battles won in the spiritual world/ 7 she declares. "The moment 
you decide to give your life to God, negative forces will start to rail 
against you. The stronger I became was a direct result of overcoming 
dark forces. 77 

"I can do an exorcism without seeing the person. 77 
Near the beginning of their talk, Cora Keeton let the parents 
know she did not need to travel to Mississippi to work with their 
son; the problem would resolve through long-distance consulta 
tions. The boy's personality had changed, they told Cora in their call 
to Los Angeles. Described by them was a shift in the thirteen year 
old's personality which had been extreme and sudden. His good 
nature had given way to moodiness and unrestrained fury. School 
life became disordered; he blocked communication with everyone. 
In wild discharges of anger, he threatened family members and 
others with knives and other weapons. Not knowing what else to 
do, his parents finally had him admitted to a psychiatric hospital. 

Expelling Negative Spirits 151 

But they still were concerned about his recovery, and contacted 

Remotely investigating the boy's psychic condition, Cora 
detected his space was contaminated by something that vibrated 
differently and lower. Its emanations were satanic. Through 
pervading the energy surrounding each parent, Cora perceived how 
the entity had been drawn to the group. It was through the mother! 
A storehouse of hostility and anger, she fed and activated the entity. 
The obsession entered the boy because he was the most vulnerable 
person in the family. 

After a series of consultations, there was improvement in the 
conditions of the mother and son. The woman began dealing with 
her negative attitudes, and as a result the entity's power supply was 
appreciably diminished eventually disappearing altogether. 

When the boy was to be released from the hospital, Cora 
perceived where the negative spirit entered his auric space. 
Psychically she repaired the area, and strengthened his field so the 
entity could not return. 

Born in Texas and raised in Los Angeles, Cora Keeton has a 
doctorate in metaphysics. 

"I am doing more exorcisms since the veil between the visible 
and invisible is thinning. More souls are lighted up/' 

In another incident, not long ago, Cora returned home from 
Missouri, accompanied by two entities occupying a girl's body. She 
saw them both, the overwhelmed and the aggressor. The girl had 
become obsessed while channeling. Her body was taken over by a 
spiritually undeveloped female entity. Once the invading spirit 
gained control, its instability of personality and behavior led to the 
girl being placed in a psychiatric institution. After Cora caused the 
intruder to leave, as part of the recovery process she taught the 
former victim how to protect herself against future invasions and 
attacks. In addition, Cora gave the girl lessons in metaphysics, and 
trained her, expanding the abilities she had. Already the young 
person astral projected at will and communicated telepathically 
with animals. 

"More earthbound souls are contacting me of late," Cora 
reveals. "I use my guides. There are three who have been with me a 
long time, and others come to help." 

152 Company of Prophets 

People troubled by malevolent spirits were coming to Jessica 
Marshall. This evil aspect of her clients 7 problems made her uneasy. 
Though she wanted to help, she was unsure for her own well-being, 
and uncertain of the future influences of negative spirit entities 
upon her. 

It was about ten years ago that Jessica, metaphysical counselor 
and teacher, confronting this dilemma, thought seriously of 
abandoning her work. In the course of making a decision, she spoke 
to a great-aunt, a psychic experienced in working with candles, oils, 
and herbs to change energy and its influences on people. Her 
great-aunt's only response was that Jessica should pray to God to 
release her from her psychic gifts. Letting go of her gifts did not seem 
the right action to Jessica. While meditating, she confirmed her 
abilities were tools given her to help others. Hadn't she already used 
them for that reason? And now she would not allow negative 
entities to block her way of helping. She felt from this realization a 
renewal in commitment to her work. She further came to 
understand that her own spiritual growth was dependent upon her 
willingness to confront and overcome negative energy in any of its 

Jessica, a resident of Los Angeles, is co-founder of the 
Crenshaw Metaphysical Institute. In the tradition of her great-aunt, 
she sometimes uses oils, candles, and incense in exorcisms and other 
facets of her work. 

"I can't very well counsel a person if I have no reality on what 
they are experiencing/ 7 she summarizes. "I know my experiencing 
these negative entities is for my own growth. In metaphysics, you 
never stop growing. You must learn to work at different levels/' 

"When this thing would happen to him, he would fly through 
the air 13 to 20 feet!" Peter Brown recalls. "He was possessed liter 
ally possessed." 

Peter James Brown, Jr. is pastor of Cathedral Temple of Divine 
Love in Chicago, and a psychic counselor. He indicates that Spirit 
gives him instruction on how to exorcise entities from possessed 

"I got involved with this man when he stepped on some glass. 

Expelling Negative Spirits 153 

Only thirty minutes had lapsed but the wound looked as though it 
had been made a week or two before/' 

Peter had been called by a physician at the institution where the 
"flying" man was being observed. The doctor was unable to accept 
such phenomena. "It just couldn't be it didn't fit anything!" The 
doctor advised the man's mother to find someone in the psychic 
field, so Peter was contacted. 

"He could be sitting in a chair and talking normally, when all of 
a sudden bingo! it would be on. And just as suddenly as it came, 
it would go away," describes Peter. 

Peter's guides through spirit writing revealed that the man was 
possessed; he had epilepsy, and there was deep conflict between 
him and members of his family. "That form of epilepsy behaves in 
such a way that if you were not observing it, you would not see it. It 
was an outgrowth of the spiritual kind of war going on within him." 
A course of treatment was developed, with the new information, 
which addressed both the physical and spiritual aspects and the 
conditions abated. 

"I will tell you about a girl who had sixteen entities in her, and 
they tried to make her disembowel herself. She would come to 
church the first Sunday of the month. We usually had communion 
then. I could talk about anything other than the blood of Jesus Christ. 
If I talked about the blood of Jesus Christ, she would go off. She 
would scream like you've never heard except in a horror movie. 
Then she would be out of it for two or three days." 

Peter took on this girl's case. Spirit gave instructions on how to 
oust the entities. In the process, Peter engaged in conversation with a 
being who was apparently the group's spokesperson. 

" Tm not going anywhere!' 

"I said, 'You have to!' 

" 'No, I don't. I don't have to!' 

"I asked, 'Why?' 

" 'We're here by invitation. She likes us. She lets us in and we're 
going to stay.' 

"I said, 'No, you can't do that/ 

"'Yes, we can!' 

"They were talking through her. She had a lovely voice. But 
when this happened, her voice would drop about four octaves and it 
sounded just like a man was talking through her." 

Following the instructions given by his disembodied 

154 Company of Prophets 

teacher-guides (through spirit writing) Peter forced the negative 
entities to withdraw from the girl. She stabilized after counseling, 
medical treatment, and dietary changes. She even went back to 
school and became a registered nurse. She has been doing very well 
for the past twelve or thirteen years; but she can't drink alcohol, or 
watch much television, for it was her indulgences in those activities 
that lured the negative spirits to her. 

In the Cathedral Temple's brochure Peter explains, "All 
psychic phenomena has its roots in the Bible, and that Jesus 
demonstrated all its facets during his earth life and in addition 
said to his followers, 'These things that I do ye shall do and even 
greater/ " 


Astral Projection 

World-sated, setting her sails for enlightenment, she 

But her thoughts were sucked up by low, astral-plane 
energies streaming through where she first opened the port 
hole to the spirit realm. 

In waves, they wracked her. 

Through the resulting dregs of darkness, on rough cur 
rents of unceasing and tormented sleep, she drifted. 

In its redemptive roots, an ancient tree, dream-borne, 
reaching far beyond earthbound shores, capsized her way 
ward barge. 

Set loose, water-cleaned, in new life she awakened. 

... A paper-thin image of herself rose, floating out of the 
carcass, and rested itself somewhere above the stark white 
ceiling. 1 

Her perception changed, and she viewed the world 
from the eye of the image. The image watched quietly as the 
body adopted a grayish hue; the eyes grew cloudy; and the 
lips sealed themselves one to the other. 

The chest no longer heaved up and down with the 
breath of life, and the heart ceased to pound out the terrifying 
drum rhythms . . . 

From her view on the ceiling, the image saw the figure of 
a young girl come and touch the body, trying to arouse it, but 


156 Company of Prophets 

receiving no answer, assumed it to be in deep sleep . . . 

Without warning, a voice quite her own, yet more 
lovely rose from the breast of the carcass and spoke, saying, 
"Get back in yo' body, Girl, you have work to do!" 

No sooner had the command been given than a thin blue 
light appeared, streaming between body and soul. It flowed 
painlessly until they were one again, and the chest began to 
ebb and flow with a fresh spring air. 

This excerpt, "Needy Winter/ 7 a story from her book Jambalaya, 
Luisah Teish explains is based on an actual occurrence she experi 
enced herself. 

"It happened a lot when I was a child/' the author confides. "I 
used to think I was Spacing out 7 , daydreaming! As a youngster I had 
to be well-grounded because I was in a large family. I had a lot of re 
sponsibility. When my quiet time came, I would go sit in a closet or 
lay up on the roof. I know now that I did a lot of out-of-body travel, 
but I didn't know what to call it at that time. They (my parents) just 
saw it as well, she r s seeing some spirits. 

"I have a friendlier relationship with it now/ 7 says Luisah. 
'Traveling out and meeting other energies on other levels. I have 
better control of it. Things don't have to get dire before I can do it ... I 
can do it on decision, but that decision is not just left-brain. The urge 
to do it comes on. The urge is based on the need to do it. I recognize 
that the urge is there, and I surrender to the urge. Cooperate with the 
urge and I can do it. 

"You lay down on your bed you tense, and relax your mus 
cles/' Luisah goes on. "You give up fear of what you're going to 
meet out there. You make an attempt to direct where you are going 
to go. You make sure you stay corded to Earth so you don't get out 
there and get too comfortable. And you can deliberately go. There 
are other times, however, when I don 7 t have all that forethought, 
and I lay down to go to sleep and I feel myself flying, or riding my 
magical bicycle, or being on a roller coaster, and I go somewhere." 

Luisah speaks of an astral visit made to a gathering at her child 
hood home. "A couple of years ago, I had this dream of myself riding 
this magical bicycle, and I went home to my mother's house. When I 
went there some kind of reunion was going on. I could walk around 
and see people. In my dream, I came back here and didn't think any 
thing of it, except well, I went (in spirit) to Mama's house. The next 
day or so my mother called me and said that an aunt of mine whom I 
hadn't seen in twenty years had been there visiting, and she kept 

Astral Projection 157 

asking for me. Without knowing it I was trying to answer her call/' 
Looking back at what she calls her "regenerating out-of-body 
experience/' Luisah attributes it to a ceremony in which she partici 
pated. "There was the giving-away of my possessions. There was 
the releasing of all my relationships. The abandoning of all my 
hopes and expectations. And I truly believe that it is that ceremony 
which caused me to have the out-of-body experience, rather than 
dying. Rather than just getting violently ill. 

"I am interested in people recognizing that the spirit is layered, 
and that when it is time for an old layer to come off when it is time 
for the snake to shed her skin we feel a death coining on. But it is 
not necessarily a physical death. The blindness of materiality made 
me think that I was supposed to take myself out physically/' she ex 
plains. "In another culture, in another time, I would have had an 
elder that I could go to and say: "Life is perfectly rotten, I don't fit in, I 
can't handle it/ 

"They would have had rituals to symbolically take me through 
that death, and let me feel and experience it, and then they would 
have been present for the rebirthing! /r 

"My spirit is leaving!" Clarence's mother used to announce to 
her children. She would retire to bed for as long as a week, on occa 
sion, in out-of-body states, after such statements. Clarence Ellerbee 
remembers friends and neighbors saying they saw and talked with 
her on the streets. But at the time of those sightings, Clarence knew 
his mother's physical body was home, in bed, in a trance. 

When the Spirit is with her, Mother Estelle Ellerbee moves out 
side the body. A speaker-in-tongues, evangelist and healer, she is 
often enveloped in rapture consciousness. She leaves to Clarence, 
her son, companion, and co-pastor, the management of most of her 
temporal affairs. He has been her assistant and her communicator 
since he was seventeen years old. He knew even as a small child that 
his life's work was in spiritual work with his mother. 

Clarence observes that his mother's body becomes set and cold 
after she leaves it. Sometimes he fears she might not return to it, but 
hesitates to call her back, not wanting to disturb her work. In an ef 
fort to quell his fears, Mother Ellerbee told him to use his intuition, 

1 58 Company of Prophets 

get the help of another psychic, but never to call the paramedics. 

"My mother told me when she and my father first married he 
didn't know she was psychic/ 7 narrates Clarence. "He was a little 
devilish 7 and kept seeing other women/ 7 Once his mother, unem- 
bodied, went where his father was with another woman. She saw 
the street location, the house number, the details of the residence, 
and her husband with his friend. She astounded her husband by giv 
ing him a complete description of his clandestine outing when he re 
turned home. 

"Twenty-five years ago our family had just moved to Brooklyn. 
We didn't know anyone in the apartment complex yet, and no one 
knew my mother was psychic/ 7 Clarence remembers. "The cries of a 
woman in the apartment next door could be heard, one night. She 
was being beaten. As this occurred, Mother Ellerbee went into a 
trance state. The cries abruptly ended, and silence followed. "The 
day after, this neighbor came to our door/ 7 Clarence recalls. The 
awestricken woman told Mother Ellerbee that she saw her appear all 
of a sudden, in the turmoil of the beating. Mother Ellerbee then stood 
behind the woman's husband and prevented a further blow. She 
went on to say she felt waves of warmth from Mother Ellerbee's 
presence during that visit. In later years, this woman took up mis 
sionary work. 

A particular night, in the 1960s, Mother Ellerbee was in the 
South with her son doing revivals, preaching from the pulpit. While 
she was preaching and healing, a friend, Reverend Morris in Mt. 
Kisco, New York, felt a presence in his room. Opening his eyes he 
saw Mother Ellerbee. Later, he told the Ellerbee family that a calm 
ing energy, a warmth emanated from her etheric body. Up to that 
time, Reverend Morris had been frustrated in writing a book, finally 
having to stop production on it. He claims that from her astral visit, 
Mother Ellerbee inspired him to resume his writing, and complete 
his work. 

"I became interested in the import business when I couldn't 
find an African dress. Eventually I owned three African import 
stores in San Francisco, Berkeley and Vallejo." 

Catherine Wilson, an herbalist and healer, works out of the San 

Astral Projection 159 

Francisco Bay area. 

"I found myself astral traveling when I was in the store/' 
Catherine recounts. "I would visit places in Africa. I knew the lan 
guages and the land. Africans who visited the store were surprised 
that I knew their language and their customs/' The places where she 
traveled were familiar, though she had never visited them in this 
life. She felt a deep affinity for the continent. At her store, among the 
goods and artifacts of African nations, she seemed to be drawn out 
of her body. But the out-of-body travels to Africa ceased once she left 
her import business. 

An astral traveler from her twenties, these projections into re 
mote physical spaces were not new to her. "I have been told by any 
number of mediums that I didn't come into my body until I was 
around the age of twelve. That is why I don't recall much of my 
childhood," she confirms. 

"I have always as a child dreamed I had out-of-body experi 
ences all along. I knew I wasn't in my body when I was little that I 
was out." 

Carolyn Marcus, an astrologer, social worker, and college in 
structor, teaches at Morgan State College in Baltimore. 

"I could see all these things happening and being so real for no 
reasons. The feeling, the color, the sound, more intense than in real 
life. So I started writing down all my dreams. Some, I think, have 
been visions because I am right there. I go into a sweat and my eyes 
are open. It's just an intuitive kind of feeling that I know this is not 
just another dream. Something tells me that. It is kind of indescrib 
able because it is a feeling. It's hard to talk about. I've tried to write 
some down. Just describing my feelings and the impact some of 
these experiences have had on me, I cannot come up with the words! 

"When I have a dream that is very powerful to me, I write it 
down, I reflect on it and I ask myself: What am I supposed to do with 
this? I might not know the meaning of it for a week or two, maybe a 
month, maybe a year. 

"But I never forget. And then things start happening and then I 
can piece things together. Sometimes the dream is in symbols and I 
say, Oh, that's what I'm supposed to do! That's what that meant!" 

1 60 Company of Prophets 

Carolyn comments she tends to choose companions and activi 
ties that are spiritually oriented. She seldom attends professional 
conferences unless they are about non-traditional ways to work 
with people. "I would rather be around people who can teach me 
more, who are up. 

"In 1981 1 began to take a serious look at Christianity. I decided 
to read the Bible from page one. While I was doing that I was having 
heavy dreams or visions. They really made an impact on me. I can 
relate to the Bible, the teachings and the principles involved. They 
can be used. I have respect for it. 

"I don't have much respect for organized religion. A lot of 
churches that I have come in contact with I would call "Christian 
country clubs 7 . 1 know now I do not need a church to go where I'm 
going to end up anyway/ 7 

Through a metaphysical organization Carolyn undertook 
studies on astral travel, finding they taught what she was naturally 
doing. "I've been interacting and learning some things that I cannot 
ignore. I know that I have to share all this information that's coming 
to me. If I hold it in, I know I will suffer my health or whatever. 
This kind of information was not meant to be kept to oneself. It was 
meant to be shared with people for a universal kind of cause. I have 
felt myself become more universal, and to me that is very significant. 
Because it was like I was a different person/ 7 

When asked how astrology and metaphysics have affected her 
relationships with people, Carolyn responds: "It has enhanced in 
some cases, and in other cases it has been, 'How could she be serious 
about that!' They will put it on my personality. They would say, 
'You know Carolyn has always been way out!' They knew I was 
willing to try things that other people wouldn't be willing to try. 

"The older I get and more spiritual I become, the less need I 
have for those kinds of roots. I can look back, and I don't say it is a 
waste of time. I learned a lot of things, and I apparently had to go 
through all that I did go through to get where I am now," she reflects. 

"When I was young I did astral travel naturally, in a dream 
state. But then I was afraid I was going to die or be unable to get back 
into my body. As a child, I knew if I couldn't get back into my body, I 
would be dead. 

"I've learned since that has happened. I know I'm not alone. I 
know that God is always there and will protect me. I know that all I 
have to do is call on the Lord, and I'm delivered from whatever dan- 

Astral Projection 1 61 

ger there is. That has happened to me thousands of times in dreams. 

"All I would have to say is, 'Jesus, Lord! 7 And I am delivered! I 
don't care what was coming at me, to do to me whatever. I always 
remember to think on the Lord. 

"I know from experience all you have to do is call that's all 
you have to do/ 7 

In 1831 Rebecca Cox Jackson thought she was dying. The fol 
lowing observations of the experience she later recorded in her jour 

Now, when my spirit left my body I was as sensible of it 
as I would be now to go out of this house and come in it again. 
All my senses and feeling and understanding was in my 
spirit. I found my body was no more than a chair to me, or any 
other piece of thing. 2 

Jackson, a preacher, a Shaker eldress and founder of an African 
American Shaker community in Philadelphia, further noted: 

After encouraging Samuel to be faithful, then taking 
leave of him in prayer, I left, passing out at my feet. I went 
directly west, I turned neither to the right nor to the left. I 
passed through all substance nothing impeded my way. I 
went a straight course, came down to a river. It run north and 
south. I stood on the bank. I then thought, "Here is 
Jordan here I have got to suffer." I found, when I came out of 
the body it was with all ease and without any suffering, so I 
now found I had this suffering to go through. 

As I stood on the bank looking across, I saw a large 
mountain, a path which went up from this river on to the top 
of this mountain. It was very narrow. I saw travelers going up 
this path. Some was further up the path than others (for two 
could not walk in it abreast). They all walked as if they were 

On the south side of this mountain was a great deal of ice 
in great flakes. In the midst of it was a man with a boat, atrying 
to get it out. I thought he was the one that had taken them over 
and he was acoming for me. I seen his eyes were fastening 
upon me. And while I thus thought, I heard a voice from 
above say, "You must go around the Mediterranean first/ 7 
This voice sounded over my right shoulder. It was a man's 

1 62 Company of Prophets 

voice. I turned to go down this Jordan, which was south I 
thought that was the way to the Mediterranean but I was 
turned right around the way from whence I came and 
returned home. 

I reentered my body. Samuel was weeping over me and 
said, "You have been dead some time/' I spoke to him and 
then left as before. This I did three times, saw all and heard all, 
as at the first, spoke each time. 

Then I passed out at my chest, going right through the 
ceiling and the roof. About twelve feet above the roof there 
was a cluster of angels on a cloud. They took me up a great 
height in the air, gave me much instruction, brought me back 
to the same place. Then I returned to the house, reentered my 
body, spoke to Samuel and he to me. This I done three times. 
The last time, when I returned, I found Samuel in prayer, 
crying to God in the bitterness of his spirit to only spare me a 
little longer. 

I went three times to this Jordan, three times into the air 
with these angels. This made six times I left the body. These 
were all new scenes to me. (Thus it pleased God to show me 
the difference between the man and the mold . . . ) 

These are excerpts from journals Rebecca Jackson kept 
throughout her life. The autobiographical materials have been com 
piled and edited by Jean Humez into the book Gifts of Power: The 
Writings of Rebecca Jackson, Black Visionary, Shaker Eldress. 

"I was cooking dinner in the kitchen. I began to hear this vibra 
tion in my head. Then I felt this pull on my chin; my chin was pulled 
toward the light bulb on the wall. All of a sudden I became hypno 
tized by the light bulb. I was pulled out of my body. I looked down 
and saw myself with big, bulgy eyes, holding on to the dish rag. I 
was drawn further and further out of my body, up to the ceiling. 
And then I was passing through space at incredible speeds/ 7 

Hayward Coleman, Los Angeles entertainer, speaks of an as 
tral projection experienced while he lived in Paris. "I got closer and 
closer to this disc and as I drew close the more of a melting feeling I 
had. I thought, 'Oh God, I'm not worthy enough to be close to Thee/ 

"And the vibration that pulled me out of my body began to vi 
brate in a way of saying, 'This is how I want you to be every moment 
of your life/ 

Astral Projection 1 63 

"Then I found myself released. I found myself back in the 
room up on the ceiling. I was slowly lowered back into my body. I 
was afraid because at first I thought I was dead and I would never 
get back into my body. 

"I thought, 'This is how I am dying/ 

"When I was released and back into my body, I dropped every 
thing and started crying. I could see auras around everything. I 
could see atoms of the curtains . . . Vibrant colors. My body was 
glowing. That was the beginning/' 

Delilah Grayer was uneasy, stopped by what her daughter, 
Bakara Oni, said a few minutes earlier. The five-year-old child had 
softly intoned: "Mommy, someone is so sick/ 7 As was her habit, the 
child repeated some of the phrase "so sick/' It didn't make sense, 
then, but within a week, Delilah, who had no idea it was she who 
was ill, had to be hospitalized. 

Under intensive treatment, which required blood transfusions, 
Delilah used visualization concepts to accelerate healing. At one 
point of her self-healing work, she became aware of her astral body 
coming out, unlocking. "My higher self moved out from my head, 
first, and feet, last. I began to walk on top of myself. As I walked, I 
walked on my forehead, nose, chest, all the way down. I bent over 
and lifted up my stomach, my insides, and put them back." She then 
went back into her body with the realization she was healed. 

Professionally trained in social work and clinical psychology, 
Delilah combines these skills with her psychic gifts to give consulta 
tions through her social-psychic consulting practice in Cleveland, 

"I began dancing on top of the world ... I was traveling all over 
the world! To Nigeria, Haiti, places I had visited." 

She astrally met with a friend, Edna, who had died five months 
earlier. "I went and visited her, but it was like being in a tunnel. I saw 
her. She was tall, and was in an armored dress. It was like of mail, 
really heavy. 

"I said, 'Edna, Oh, Edna! I really like talking to you. You came 
to the hospital. Now I'm with you and I feel so peaceful. I don't know 
if I want to go back/ 

1 64 Company of Prophets 

"She told me I had to go back. She kept staying, 'Stay back! 7 
And she moved away from me/' 

In further contemplating the experience, Delilah remarks it was 
the first time she didn't fear death. "I was in that state of conscious 
ness where I could feel I could have a choice/ 7 

During her astral travel, Delilah reconfirmed her spiritual 
direction. "My mission in this life and my lesson is: To let go, and let 
God. And that is exactly why I am healed, because I let go, and let 
God/ 7 

"Good Lord, man! You 7 re two-thirds in the spirit world! 77 

"A medium once told me that. I think my mother would have 
agreed with her. When I was young, I would go into trances, com 
pletely forgetting what I was supposed to be doing. 

"I didn't discover what it was until I was in my forties. I found 
myself outside of my body. Fve seen this body. I 7 ve always been a 
dreamer. I didn't realize what was happening. I thought my mind 
was just outside. 

"When I was young, I also investigated all religions, including 
the Far Eastern ones which impressed me a great deal/ 7 

Richmond Barthe relates he has viewed with certainty his body 
while outside of it. He got up too quickly once, feeling weak. He 
looked back, seeing he had left his body behind. He lay down again, 
rising slowly this time with his body. 

An artist of the Harlem Renaissance period, Barthe has re 
ceived national and international recognition for his work. He has 
done hundreds of sculptures since 1927 when he first began his 
work. He has been called the Creole Michelangelo and compared 
with Rodin. In East Pasadena where he lives, a street has been 
named in his honor. 

Barthe came back from one of his out-of-body travels with the 
insight needed to complete a sculpture of Christ. "This statue is six 
feet tall, 77 he indicates. "It is looking right through you. It makes 
some people uncomfortable. I thought it was the best thing I 7 d ever 
done by far, but there was something disturbing about it. I couldn't 
figure out what it was. I checked it. I couldn't find anything wrong. 
So I decided, I've done the best I can. I can't find out what is wrong 
with it/ 

Astral Projection 1 65 

"So then I think, T shall have to ask for help/ 1 went to my bed 
room, sat on my bed, took my shoes, belt, and collar off. I didn't want 
anything to physically attract me. I meditated on my problem, and 
asked for help. 

"Soon every bodily sensation disappeared. My only conscious 
ness was right here," he describes, pointing to his third-eye area. 
"The rest of my body just disappeared, as far as feeling went. Sud 
denly I found myself floating out of my forehead. I went up through 
the ceiling, through the clouds. I was going up again, now swinging 
to the right, now swinging to the left. I f ound myself way out in the 
outer stratosphere. It was better than flying because I didn't have to 
wave my arms. I was just relaxed and floating up like a toy balloon, 
being let out with hundreds of miles of thread. 

"I don't know how long I was up there. Suddenly I landed with 
a thud. I found myself sitting on my bed on 8th Avenue. I came out of 
the room, Fd forgotten why I went in. I heated my dinner, sat down, 
ate it, but forgot to taste it. I was trying to hang on to the feeling of 
floating up there in outer space. I finished dinner, went into the 
kitchen to wash the plates. 

"I was looking at the wall when suddenly I saw my Christ fig 
ure. The right hand was out like this," Barthe gestures. "The right 
arm was wrong. That wasn't the Christ I was doing. I wasn't doing 
the religious symbol, I was doing the man! As I had seen him. Not 
the religious symbol that was tacked on hundreds of years later! 

"That was what was annoying me I couldn't see it! So I low 
ered his hand and now he is looking right at you. And I called it, 
'Come Unto Me.'" 

While the statue was still in his studio, Barthe had another ex 
perience with this work. An elderly woman came to commission 
him to do a plaque for her church. "She asked if she could see what 
was under the sheet. I removed the blanket, and she looked directly 
into his eyes and he was looking at her. That woman's attention 
never left his eyes, never looked at his face, hands, his feet, or any 
thing. She never saw the rest of him. She was locked into those eyes 
as if she had been hypnotized. I sat on the model's stand, smoking, 
watching her face. Gradually her eyes filled with water, tears ran 
down. I don't think she was conscious of them, she didn't wipe them 
away. Finally she took a deep breath. She wiped her face. 

"She said, 'Mr. Barthe, I want to thank you for what you have 
done for me this morning.' 

1 66 Company of Prophets 

"I said/What is that?' 

"She said, 'Yesterday, when I made the appointment, I was 
feeling fine. I went to bed last night feeling fine. This morning when I 
woke up I was so depressed. I could hardly get out of bed. I 
thought of calling you and canceling the engagement, but I thought 
it wouldn't be fair to you. I forced myself to come. When I got here I 
had to pull myself up by the bannister. I felt as if there was a heavy, 
heavy load upon my shoulders. Mr. Barthe, the load has been lifted, 
and I feel light and happy. Thank you very much/ " 

Barthe reflects, "She was cured by just looking into the eyes of a 
piece of clay. Her faith did it I didn't! 

"The body is the house you live in," Barthe summarizes his as 
tral plane experiences. 

It was as if, from a position slightly above and behind 
my head, I were observing my body and its movements in a 
way that turned a spotlight on my body and made the most 
familiar things seem new and incredibly strange. 3 

In the publication The Lives of Jean Toomer: A Hunger For Whole 
ness, Cynthia Earl Kerman and Richard Eldridge have presented 
Jean Toomer's perception of himself rising above his body, viewing 
it from the outside, as it continued, apparently on its own, to walk 
and communicate. 

An early disciple and teacher in the George Gurdjieff Move 
ment, an applied philosophical system, author Jean Toomer brought 
the teachings of the Russian philosopher and author to Harlem dur 
ing the Renaissance period. Toomer basically followed a life-long 
commitment to spiritual development for himself and to the sharing 
of knowledge with others, such as his experiences in being on other 
planes of existence. 

His recognition of being separate from the body also is con 
veyed in the autobiographical work, Exile into Being. 

It was as though an enormous weight had lifted, and 
(the) body was light and free. I am sure the weight of latent 
fear and insecurity, the weight of active ego-drivers and 
mental ambitions, had lifted. I know that me and I were lifting 
from the body, and to whatever extent I had been imprisoned 

Astral Projection 1 67 

in it, the body was relieved to be rid of its prisoner. It was as 
though a life-long strain had been departed, and (the) body 
was pliant. 4 

"I had such a strong sense to leave my body that I had to sit 
down. It was around 1971, and I was at the table with ray son. He 
held on to my hands. Otherwise I might have stayed out there. He 
was holding on to my hands as I flew out fast/ 7 

As an informed and comparatively relaxed explorer in spirit 
form since childhood, June Gatlin now knows not to sleep on her 
back unless she wishes to "go out." 

"At six through fourteen years old, I had outstanding astral 
travels. But now I am in more control when I fly/ 7 The singer and 
spiritual healer says there is sometimes the sense of rushing as she 
leaves her body. On her journeys she has looked through the eyes of 
an eagle, and is aware of having flown through time. "I have flown 
back to Egypt, and to the future. I have learned it (time) is all the 
same, 77 she informs. She reflects that in its purest form the separation 
from the body brings a feeling of well-being. Not unsimilar to one's 
experience in the death process of releasing from all worldly at 
tachments. While separate from the body, she witnesses the pres 
ence of negativity, in the form of degenerate spirits, who inhabit the 
bodies of persons who exit impulsively, and leave their bodies un 
protected. June has gained a sense of command over her astral trav 
els. She prepares her body prior to moving out of it, and maintains 
an attachment during her absence. She describes her state of being in 
her astral travels as "a peaceful, wonderful existing! 77 

"I experienced going out of my body as a beam of light. I was 
light shooting through the cosmos. Then I became afraid because I 
wasn't sure I could come back to my body/ 7 

San Francisco Bay area resident Arisika Razak is a midwife, 
healer, and teacher of spiritual dance. 

Arisika expresses her spirituality as evolving out of multi-cul 
tural bases. One of these is Native American religious concepts and 
practices; another is out of African sacred traditions. A third stems 

1 68 Company of Prophets 

from Wicca, a religion centered around female deities. 

"Dreams are important in my life. I have a habit now, when I 
dream about people, I call them. I do want to know if something is 
up/ 7 she relates. 

"I once had a dream that was a clear, clear dream. I came out of 
the dream with a clear message that I should try for midwivery 
school. I realized that all my connections were about things I did 
with my hands and my body. That's where my greatest skills and 
communications were. The dream told me that my fulfillment was 
around that. 

"I didn't at first consider myself a healer. I remember going 
once to a congress and a woman came up to me. 

" 'You're a healer, what are you doing with it?' she inquired. 

" 'I am a midwife/ 1 replied. I hadn't considered my midwivery 
as healing because I don't consider birth sickness. 

"Now I do think of myself as a healer, but I think of myself as a 
peacemaker, and a bridge between the races at some level, and start 
ing to pull together peace. 

"Part of who I am, part of being able to take up a world cosmol 
ogy, is that I grew up in Harlem. My second mother was a Japanese 
woman. It was her family that I lived with when I was fifteen and 
sixteen. I am someone who has had people who are not black as sig 
nificant others in my life ever since I was a child. I think that has kept 
me more open than other people/' 

She blesses some of the babies of the drug-addicted women 
giving birth in the clinic setting in which she works. She believes that 
if she doesn't say a blessing for some of the babies, no one would 
during the whole pregnancy not even the mothers. From her view 
point, every child is supposed to come in wanted. Many of the 
women Arisika sees do not consider birth as a spiritual event. The 
births happen in the middle of much turmoil. "The birth is happen 
ing when the woman is trying desperately to knit together the 
threads of her life, and it is real, real difficult/ 7 

Sometimes Arisika gets someone who wants a spiritual birth. 
She remarks how much she loves doing births that way, infrequent 
as they are. She does not impose her own spiritual beliefs on preg 
nant women. But she teaches relaxation techniques. "I try to encour 
age them to bring their spiritual beliefs to the birth of their child. 

"I do believe we are light energy. When we die we go back to 
being that pure energy/ 7 affirms Arisika. 


By Way of Rites 

Her body split while she meditated on Him. 

"Elohim . . . Elohim . . . Elohim ..." 

The right separated from the left. Each half compelled to 
ward an opposing vector. 

"Elohim . . . Elohim . . . Elohim ..." 

Then came new orientation: 

Her right eye, directed, took the lead whenever she was 
to spiritually see or read. 

And she began to hear etheric-world sounds, first, 
through her left ear. 

"Elohim . . . Elohim . . . Elohim ..." 

Her heart burst while she meditated to surrender. Red 
and spherical, the twelve heart drops dispersed. 

They were drawn together again, to be absolved, then ab 
sorbed into the projected stream of her returning. 

"Elohim . . . Elohim . . . Elohim ..." 

"It is a very revealing thing to be involved in Tarot It is not just 
a device by which we divinate and tell fortunes. There's a spiritual 
and philosophical aspect of the Tarot that is fantastic! These very 
cards are symbolic in finding one's true inner self/' So asserted 
Henry Rucker of Chicago in an interview with his friend, Dane 
Headley, in the early 1970s. 


1 70 Company of Prophets 

Presently a lecturer and teacher in spiritual development, 
Henry describes his earlier work with Tarot and palmistry. 

"One day I said, 'How about it, God? Can I quit? 7 

"I just walked up and quit the post office and the Board of Edu 
cation and never looked back. That was 1968. 

"I had been working for the post office, and I had a reputation: 
He never does any work! All my supervisors and coworkers would 
always come and pull me out of a work section for counseling. 

" 'What do you see about my kid? 7 

"Coworkers would complain and not want me for their co- 
worker. If people were going to come up and ask about their fami 
lies, I reflected, if I was going to do all this why should I stay here in 
this place that I really hate? 77 

Henry took college courses, but these brought him no satisfac 
tion. He had a strong urge to utilize his intuitive abilities. "But I was 
afraid to go out and say, 1 see this about you/ 1 needed a hook! 77 

In 1954, a book on palmistry caught his attention. "I learned 
palmistry and I 7 ve become an expert, they say, 77 Henry recounts. 
"That started me on that particular path. There was a need to be seen 
in a different light. My first wife was a brilliant girl, a chemistry and 
economics major heavy, heavy, heavy! She played the cello, piano, 
organ, and was into photography. 

"We used to have people come over. Malcolm X, John Ali were 
good friends, though I was not a Muslim. We had discussion groups. 
I 7 m not academic. Reading is not my thing. They read and they were 
talking about Marcel Proust, Joyce, Jean Paul Sartre, etc. I felt inade 

"I said, 'I need something for myself: everybody is an expert! 7 
Henry explains how, using palmistry at gatherings, he began read 
ing people. "If a person throws his hand up, I take a mental picture of 
it and I've got it. I became the center of attention. Whereas I did not 
try to keep up with them academically, I had my own little thing, so I 
had a lot of attention. 

"People would say, 'What do you see about this? Tell me about 
myself. 7 

"From 7 54 on I started to use that as my 'life-of-the-party 7 , my 
'thing 7 . No one competed with me and everybody wanted to know 
what I was into. Everybody wants to be recognized. After that point 
I was never the one who would sit back. My wife said I began to 
dominate the conversation! 77 

By Way of Rites 171 

Henry first taught palmistry, then Tarot. Teaching people how 
to meditate on Tarot followed. And then he began teaching psychic 
development, and lecturing as a palmist and as a psychic. "It's not 
just the Tarot/ 7 Henry concluded in his talk with Headley. "Philo 
sophically, yes, these cards mean something; but more important, 
the symbolism has a fantastic effect on the subconscious. It has a way 
of bringing the personality in tune with the higher-self through the 
agency and the vehicle of the subconscious/ 7 

Sue Avent's experience with the Ouija board was short-lived. 
Her older sister brought it home, and after a brief interlude, her 
mother threw it out. But not before Sue heard voices and picked up 
spirits through the board. In that context, she met her guides. She 
was seventeen. "Before I used the Ouija board I didn 7 t have a singing 
voice. The guides work through me when I sing. 77 

Sue has meditated since she was twelve. Even then, she felt she 
had lived more than one lifetime. 

Her childhood home is Ohio. She has recently settled in Ithaca, 
New York. She studied metaphysics and received a doctorate. 

She works with guides. One named Bruce writes through her. 
While looking at a person, she receives pictures. "I pick up what the 
person has created for himself/ 7 Sue can see what a person is doing 
who is geographically miles away from her. And she has created 
mental illusions which another has viewed. Sue counsels and 
teaches through the Tarot cards, automatic writing, and direct psy 
chic readings. She is also a practitioner of magic. She describes as one 
of her objectives, "I want to help people to realize that the source of 
happiness comes from within, and that they can create it for them 
selves/ 7 

Kenneth Dickkerson writes, "Many times people ask me if they 
can use the I Ching cubes for gambling on numbers, horses, or what 
ever. I tell them you can use it for that purpose, but it does not guar 
antee you will win. These tools (I Ching, Tarot cards, astrology, etc.) 
were not given to mankind for the purpose of gambling. In a sense, 

172 Company of Prophets 

they take the gamble out of a situation when used properly. This is 
ancient wisdom, given to humanity to help us make right decisions 
in the way we live our lives/ 7 

Kenneth is a New York City astrologer and Kirlian photogra 
pher who teaches divination techniques to individuals and groups. 
He is the inventor of the I Ching cubes and Astro Stones which are 
divination tools. 

"I use Tarot cards and astrology. I wouldn't consider myself an 
expert in any of those because as you use them you find out there is 
so much more. I will probably be a student of those things as long as I 
am on this planet/ 7 

In his early twenties, Kenneth became very depressed about so 
ciety. Reading a book on "cosmic consciousness" changed him. "It 
gave me hope. I knew the world was not going to be destroyed/ 7 

He became involved in spiritual groups. He gathered more in 
formation from the Rosicrucians on cosmic consciousness, and he 
read about reincarnation. "In reading books from all different 
groups, I felt like I already knew this information. It reminded me of 
something I had somehow forgotten/ 7 

Kenneth tells of when "I started my own business. A picture 
frame shop. I had training in art work. I painted. But in 1973, 1 de 
cided I had had it with the art, and cut it out. I started to get more in 
this present line. 

"A girlfriend said, "Why did you stop painting? 7 

"I said, 'I know I'm not supposed to be painting. I knew it in my 

"She said, 'Did you ask I Ching? 7 

"I said I didn't have to because I knew it in my guts. She insisted 
I ask the I Ching. The I Ching agreed, 

"My goal is to turn people on to an ancient line, to teach people 
how to read for themselves/ 7 

When Alvin Lock studies a ball of natural crystal, he sees im 
ages and scenes which are significant to the person receiving the 
reading. Water in a glass, Tarot cards, and palmistry are other means 
by which he becomes attuned to the energies around the person. 

"People don't realize it wouldn't do any good if they couldn't 

By Way of Rites 173 

change whatever you tell them. And many times you tell them 
something and it is very important, and they change it! That's the 
only reason you tell them. If there was a deep pit over there, and the 
person knows it, he can go around it. Why fall in it! That's the only 
reason messages do any good/ 7 

Born in Valley Mills, Texas, Alvin resides in Jacksonville, Flor 
ida. He gives personal consultations, workshops, and lectures on 
psychic and spiritual development throughout the country. 

In his late teens, he became aware of his inner knowing of 
Truth. He shared it with friends, and the things he told them often 
happened as he said. 

Alvin believes "The One Mind, the Universal Mind, you tune in 
to it. All things are there/ 7 

At his birth, both Pepe and his mother were pronounced dead; 
but they were removed from the morgue at his aunt's insistence. She 
knew well this tendency among her relatives to go into deathlike 
states. This was not the first time that some of them had to be res 
cued. Pepe's mother recalled seeing the whole drama from outside 
of her body, and aiding in the rescue of herself and baby. 

Born in Texas, Pepe Washington remembers that even be 
fore he learned to talk, well before two, that discarnate beings came 
to visit him. Sometimes there were voices which no embodied 
person around could hear except him. His grandfather, a Pakistani, 
encouraged Pepe's psychic growth in adolescence by teaching him 

Pepe's main activities and interests are in teaching, in prepar 
ing people for the New Age. He has appeared on television and ra 
dio programs. These are some of the ways through which Pepe 
Washington of Los Angeles counsels, instructs, and predicts: Afri 
can cowrie shells, psychometry, tea leaves, sand, playing cards, tele 
pathic transmissions, candle flame, auras, water, colors, runes, and 
spirit contact. 

Independently, and as a member of a private police agency, he 
works with law enforcement agencies in solving murders, and in the 
search for missing persons, especially children. 

Pepe served in the Vietnam War. During combat, he experi- 

174 Company of Prophets 

enced increasing anxiety centering around his inability to see an en 
emy who might approach at night. His solution was to will himself 
night vision! Even now he can still read in complete darkness. 

She went searching to understand her gift better. Born with the 
veil, she had heard voices and seen visions since childhood. She had 
been told by a Spiritualist she was going to do the work. 

In Haiti, where she first traveled, there were no clues for her. 
Then on a second trip to Brazil, Mary Bivens sat at a table with Portu 
guese Spiritualists. A translator was there who asked everyone to do 
what they could do. She prayed. When Mary was through praying, 
they told her she was ready for the work, and to go home and do the 
work. "I do mine through prayer. I work through prayers/' Mother 
Mary Bivens affirms. 

"I was strictly working with the Spirit. Whatever the Spirit led 
me to do, I did. Wherever the Spirit told me to go, I went. The way I 
work, I work with the Spirit, and the guides. There is a guide for eve 
rything. I worked with the hills, the mountains, the rivers, the lakes, 
the oceans, the canals, the railroads, and the road crossings. I had to 
go to these places. I went as far as Colombia, South America, up in 
the mountains. Just wherever the Spirit would lead me to go, that's 
what I did. I did everything I had to do. I had rituals. I went through 
rituals and everything/ 7 

A man deep in litigation came to her for help. Discerning his in 
nocence, she agreed. The night the man's case went before the jury 
for a verdict, he called Mary from court. "They are in there cursing, 
banging, and going on. I'm frightened! 7 ' 

Mary said okay and then she went into her prayer room. "I got 
down on my knees and began to pray and cry out to God. 'What is it 
I'm not doing? Show me what I have to do!' " 

Spirit said, "You have to get in your car and go down to the jail- 
house." Up to that point, Mary had not gone there. 

"When I got there I said, 'What am I to do now?' And Spirit 
said, 'Just stand right here and pray/ 

"I stood there and prayed. I wasn't there thirty minutes when I 
looked up and saw the cameras flashing, and people running. He 
saw me, he ran to me and said, 'God is so good! We did it, I'm a free 

By Way of Rites 175 



Mary grows herbs in her backyard for use in cleansing baths 
and rituals. Spirit directs her in making remedies for the spiritually 
and physically sick. 

"I thank God for what He has done for me." 

Young professional people in Miami, where she resides, turn to 
her with their troubles. Some come wanting to know more about 
Christ and to join her prayer band. These individuals have worked 
with Mother Mary Bivens in community projects, such as helping 
youth to obtain jobs. She has participated with medical school staff 
at the University of Florida as a consultant on indigenous healing. 
She visits hospitals and prays for the sick. "Even if they don't get a 
physical healing, they get a mental healing. If you learn to live with 
your sickness, you can survive/ 7 

Henry Button's son and namesake describes his deceased fa 
ther as an individual who had "deep instinct and good intuition/' 

A native of Louisiana, the elder Dutton gave up plans for a ca 
reer in medicine to pursue his interest in palmistry. A counselor 
whose method was palmistry based, Dutton gave consultations for 
more than thirty-five years out of his office in Chicago. 

"My father had good ability at knowing," his son looks back. 
"He could see things and tell of them way ahead of time." 

Paschal Beverly Randolph, a physician and philosopher, re 
ceived his final Initiation in the Supreme Grand Dome of the Order 
in Paris in June, 1850. On that same occasion, he was given the abso 
lute right to establish the Rose Cross Lodge in America. 

Randolph wrote Ravalette: The Rosicrucian's Story, published in 
1861. Although labeled fiction, it is a mystical treatise. As such, it is a 
repository of his beliefs and experiences. 

I had akeady become a Rosicrucian, had passed through 
five degrees, had visited the Orient and was about to go again, 
had learned many dark and solemn mysteries, had instructed 

1 76 Company of Prophets 

in several degrees of magic, knew all about the Elixir of Life, 
the power of Will, the art of reading others' destinies, of con 
structing and using magic mirrors, and how to discover mines 
of precious metal . . . l 

We proclaim the Omnipotence of Will! and we declare 
practically, and by our own achievements demonstrate, the 
will of man to be a supreme and all-conquering force when 
once fairly brought into play, but this power is only nega 
tively strong when exerted for merely selfish or personal 
ends; when or wherever it is called into action for good ends, 
nothing can withstand its force. Goodness is Power; where 
fore we take the best of care to cultivate the normal Will, and 
thus render it a mighty and powerful engine for Positive 
Good. You cannot deceive a true Rosicrucian, for he soon 
learns how to read you through and through, as if you were a 
man of glass . . . The Temple teaches its acolytes how to rebuild 
this regal faculty of the human Soul the Will; how to 
strengthen, purify, expand and intensify it. 

Paschal Beverly Randolph was born in New York City on Octo 
ber 8, 1825. 

For seventy years, James Spurgeon Jordan practiced "herb doc 
toring supplemented with conjure work" in Maney's Neck Town 
ship, North Carolina, where, born in 1871, he spent his entire life. 

Written by F. Roy Johnson, The Fabled Doctor Jim Jordan, pro 
vides a description of how Jordan's uncle, Allen Vaughan, a conjure 
man, taught him around 1890 to "read the cards and mix up herbs to 
control the spirits/' 

Jordan's cousin, Josephine Minton, known for her skills as a 
midwife, herb doctor, and conjure woman, taught him patient diag 
nosis, the effective administering of herbs, and how to read palms. 
From his mother, whose knowledge about herbs was regarded ex 
traordinary, he first learned of plants and their remedies. 

By 1906, neighbors were calling Jordan a root doctor, and tell 
ing of his "strange powers/' his sister, Jennie Mae, was to recollect 
later. A nephew, in remembering the early days of Jordan's practice, 
recalled how he would search for a certain root or medicine to help a 
patient. In some instances, the root doctor would have the patient 
wait while he "would go into the woods, stay an hour or more; come 

By Way of Rites 177 

out, stop in the field, and look into the sky in a study about fifteen 
minutes/' 2 

In the community, he was known to have a "frank and objective 
manner in personal and business matters/ 7 He was considered "ac 
commodating and helpful to others; fair and liberal in business/ 7 As 
his reputation grew, people came considerable distances for his ad 
vice and treatment. It was said of Jordan that he could "cast off 
spells, get you out of trouble, find things, perform magic, and treat 
with medicine/ 7 

Years ago, Lloyd Strayhorn went to an astrologer who said his 
chart indicated he had died! Lloyd immediately knew to what he 
was referring. At ten years old, while hiding during a game of 
"Ring-A-Levio," he thought, 'Wouldn't it be great to light a fire 
cracker and put in the gas tank of the car nearby!" Every time I 
lighted it it went out. When I finally lighted it, one of the bigger 
boys came around, so I just ran off/' 

About ten years later, but before the astrological reading, Lloyd 
awoke in a cold sweat over the incident. He realized what he had 
almost done. "It's in things like that I realize that there is Some 
body out there, watching over the kid. I said to myself, 'This is my 
second life/ " 

Born and raised in Harlem, Lloyd's strong affinity for that com 
munity is conveyed in his firm statement that he has no plans ever to 
leave it. 

"When I was real tiny, five or six," he recaUs, "I had a dream I 
was over the table and I could see myself, my parents and my sister. I 
was. up in the air near the ceiling looking down at us. 

"I have a better understanding of the Universe and the Creation 
through this study (occult sciences) than from going to theological 
school," he concludes. 

From 1979, Lloyd has had a syndicated column as a numerolo- 
gist with 120 newspapers. He has hosted a radio show in New York 
City since 1981. His first book on numerology was published in 


The faith which imbued his life as an altar boy and later as a stu 
dent at Virginia Union University, a theological seminary, continues 

1 78 Company of Prophets 

to inspire him. At one time he thought of becoming a minister, but 
then his life took a different direction. 

Introduced to numerology in 1969, Lloyd recognized it as the 
compatible means through which he could express what he wanted 
to do in his life. "I want to understand people and to help people un 
derstand themselves/' he affirms. 

James Black was considered by many of his colleagues one of 
the foremost practitioners of astrology a master. 

He was self-educated in the field. In 1973 he was seventy-seven 
years old with thirty students under his instruction. He had been 
casting and interpreting charts for over forty years. His remaining 
goal was to convey the holiness of astrology to African Americans. 

The Chicago astrologer refused to counsel some people. If he 
sensed an individual could not confront information on weakness, 
loss, or damage that showed up in his or her chart, he would give no 
further sessions to that person. 

Black taught that the dedicated astrologer is characterized by 
willingness to be of service. Helping people is more important to the 
earnest astrologer than monetary profit. 

Some years ago, Don Tanney Hill's aunt made him aware of his 
intuitivity . A perceiver herself, she encouraged him to learn more of 
this aspect in himself. 

Of childhood, Don says, "I do recall having conversations with 
people who weren't necessarily there physically there. Informa 
tion was given to me on how to do something. I didn't hear them or 
see them. I was just aware of the information. I would get an imprint 
on how to do it." 

For three years he took classes in self-awareness, learned 
psychometry, photoanalysis, the Tarot cards, and how to do straight 
psychic readings. "My interest came through in healing. Every time 
I do the reading, I feel I'm doing a healing, a psychic healing. A per 
son has come away from the reading with a little bit more knowl 
edge as to the control of their own destiny. Because that is basically 

By Way of Rites 179 

what we are doing/' explains the parapsychologist. 

Don counsels exceptional children. "As you get in touch with 
the year 2000, more and more New Age children come up. Some 
of the children may have been considered 'abnormal' by parents 
and by the structure. Abnormal in the sense that they don't read 
well, may not hear, and are treated below normal. I find that many 
of the young people would have a slight difficulty with their peer 
group. They don't communicate quite as well because they are indi 
viduals who visualize a lot. They are dealing on an intuitive level 
and a telepathic level. And they are being given information by the 

"They are very unnerved a lot! because they are not in con 
tact with the people who understand them, communicate with them 
on the correct level, or on a telepathic level. These young people are 
extremely sensitive. Their skin, their sense of smell, their eyesight, 
their hearing are sensitive. Usually their environment, whatever it 
is, is bombarding them with pollution. Noise pollution, sight pollu 
tion. Emotionally they become extremely uncomfortable, and they 
wander around on the edge all the time. Some have to be given 
drugs to calm down. 

"I see some of them and view that they are that type. They ask 
questions of myself and other readers who are sensitive to them, that 
they wouldn't ask people around them normally. Or the reader 
might draw out of them the questions they would like to ask. They 
find some comfort in the fact that people are aware that they are dif 
ferent. But not negatively different. That they are more gifted, more 
creative, more artistic and more telepathic." 

Don explains some of the ways in which he works with these 
children. "I do a lot of ESP testing which gives them an idea of what 
areas of intuitive level they are dealing with more easily, or with 
more difficulty. I also give them practice sessions they can deal with 
on their own to increase their abilities if they want to. I give them 
reading material they could pursue. Generally I work with indi 
viduals between the ages of three up. But six is probably the mini 
mum as far as teaching generally between six and twenty." 

Another population which Don counsels consists of individu 
als who have had contact with aliens and UFOs. "There is a young 
man whom I have read for who feels that he has been contacted by 
UFOs, by aliens. He has a completely different energy around him. I 
have seen different people all over the East Coast, and he falls into 

180 Company of Prophets 

the category of persons I would say who have been affected by an 
alien energy. His aura is altogether different. There are some who 
have the same auras but they are from different geographical areas. 
Most of them are aware of some change. A lot of them are not aware 
of their past below a certain age. A lot of them have blanked out a 
certain time. They look different. Their intelligence level is ex 
tremely high. They are dealing with visualization or telepathy. They 
seem to have the ability to read minds. Many of them are attracted to 
the star constellation, Orion. Many of them are sensitive to the vari 
ations in energy as they drive down a road/ 7 

In commenting on his work, Don said, "One of the aspects of 
reading is that as you are of service to people, you spiritually are ad 
vancing. Once you become a parapsychologist, you become the non- 
reality, and the reality becomes non-reality. Reality for you is deal 
ing with the psychic and with spirituality. The average life becomes 

A resident of Rochester, New York, Don Tanney Hill was born 
in the state of Massachusetts. A psychic consultant, healer, and nu 
tritionist, he gives consultations and workshops around the East 

"The Tarot makes the person aware of his potential, rather than 
fortunetelling so much/' proclaims Tarot reader Chuck Wagner. 

"I don't think it is like fatalism. A lot of people are afraid of (the 
cards) because of bad news, death, and all that. I don't think that is 
the purpose of a Tarot reading. The reading is to give a person hope 
and make him aware of what skills he has to solve his problems on 
this plane of action/' 

Chuck remarks that he was not always sure himself what the 
cards were saying, "but whatever they are saying it is always accu 
rate." He has been reading cards since he was five years old, when 
spontaneously, he understood how to read them. 

"In the Tarot you can go right to the problem. Then, of course, 
the burden is what are you going to do about anything. I don't think 
you really have to do anything. Life goes on forever. You have many 
lifetimes to get it together. If you can make progress this lifetime, it is 

By Way of Rites 181 

Chuck emphasizes the message behind the Tarot is basically, 
you are okay! If you are miserable, that's exactly where you have to 
be. Then you can start working your way out of it. Life is a place 
where you learn. There is no power in the universe that can improve 
a situation to the way you think, except you. 

"The Tarot gives a glimpse of people's subconscious. You can 
see what is going on inside of them, which they may not be aware of, 
until they hear me verbalizing it. 

"They realize they have some control because the cards are 
making them to be aware of this control that they heretofore gave to 
someone else a teacher, their mother, whoever was the picture of 
authority. I think that is the main thing people learn, they become 
what they think about. Thoughts are like seeds. We produce that 
seed, whether good or bad. 

"Great singers sing their songs with such great feelings/' 
Chuck adds, "they are planting that seed. A friend who is a singer 
refuses to do negative songs. They now have to be a statement of 
what she wants/ 7 

Licensed and ordained a minister in childhood, Chuck used to 
read for people through the church. "I got this information from the 
cards. I said they would not go to heaven and lean on Jesus unless 
they reached it in this plane/ 7 

After that, the church said the devil really had him. But his 
grandmother, who never understood her grandson's card reading 
ability, validated his view: it made good sense to her! 

He reflects, "I didn't think there was a capricious God who 
would have one baby born deaf and blind and another well. I 
thought it was because in life there was something to be learned. 
One had to learn here on this plane of action. God had nothing to 
do with it except to provide the space for that learning to take 

Chuck has lived in New York City for many years. Besides giv 
ing private readings, he teaches Tarot card reading. He is occasion 
ally featured on television and radio, and has had cable television 

Chuck clearly states, "Young people are our salvation." He en 
courages them to "believe in themselves and dream big dreams, and 
not to be afraid to express love." 

182 Company of Prophets 

"I heal with water/' writer Luisah Teish asserts in reply to ques 
tions on her work as a healer. "I heal primarily with water. The other 
elements are always there Earth, Air, and Fire. The Earth is the 
herbs, the fire is the candles, the air is the incense and the spoken 
word. Put all that together and the strongest element is a cleansing 

"People tell me that my voice is healing, that I have a knack for 
saying what goes right to the heart of their concern. In the storytell 
ing the tales themselves are healing in that a real transformation 
takes place/' 

Luisah Teish is an ordained Yoruba priestess of the African 
goddess Oshun. Born in New Orleans, she moved to the San Fran 
cisco Bay area in 1971. 

"The other priestly work that I do besides divining and I do a 
lot of divining is that I have been blessed with an energy that is 
good for bringing people of diverse backgrounds together in large 
public rituals. That is healing in the sense that one temporarily loses 
self-consciousness. You are not lying in your own pain. You are 
lifted, relieved of the feeling of isolation and alienation. And learn 
how to mingle your energies with others in a healing way/' 

Luisah tells of an experience which happened a few years ago. 
A woman with spinal meningitis couldn't get proper treatment. She 
was bounced around among medical facilities. Found on a doorstep, 
she was brought to Luisah's home. 

"It is not that I individually did so much for her, but somehow 
the kindred that I have helped. I'm a family member with people 
who have a number of healing skills. When I put out the call that I 
had somebody sick here, a number of people responded with vari 
ous skills, and we together were able to get her on her feet. That's the 
way it is a lot of time. Somehow I see myself as the matrix of the heal 
ing circle. 

"Most of the time when I do a cleansing bath for somebody, I do 
not do it by myself. I really feel that almost any condition is made 
better by the one who is down being touched by three people who 
are concerned about that person's well-being. I don't think you have 
to have a knowledge of herbs or really have the knowledge of water 
healing. If somebody is sick, and there are three other people who 

By Way of Rites 183 

care about that person, and who will put their hands on that person, 
their intention will make her or him measurably better. Other things 
may be needed to make the person well, but basically there is that 
transference of energy. 

"I do believe in contagious consciousness/' Luisah concludes, 
11 with people far, far away whom you cannot reach through material 
means, and who cannot experience you directly, you have to teach 
them in the form of energy and thought transference. It is good 
learning for you and the other person/ 7 

At night, a vague but discernible mist appeared as a barrier to the 
child's room shortly after his father had moved out of the home. His mother, 
who noticed it , felt uneasy as she entered her son's space, as was her habit, to 
cover and kiss him as he slept. 

Over a few weeks' time, she sensed a presence building that in its final 
construct seemed both formidable and benign. Stationed beside the not 
quite two year old's door floated a silvery, vaporous form that radiated 
watchfulness, regularly perceived by her on her nightly rounds. 

To protect her child, late one night she decided to confront the pres 
ence. At the door, the wispy sentinel, with luminous spear upraised, in 
tended her retreat; and she was forced back. Then in dream-filled sleep she 
was borne away, captivated till morning. 

Through the imprints of those dreams, she was told of that which stood 
watch over her son: it was neither guardian angel nor evil one. She learned 
that her child, with close ties to his father cut, had reached an insecure point 
in the brief span of his present incarnation. He was turning to a former self 
for succor. 

The mother was shown the spot in the boy's auric space from which he 
had vacuumed the essence of one of his stronger identities from another di 
mension to stand vigil over his small, powerless body. 

She came to realize that this protective entity was endowed with life by 
him. Its presence would not manifest during the day. But at night, the con 
sciousness that dwelled in the fully solid, little brown body, lying abed in 
nursery-print pajamas, was creating an earlier existence. Ofetheric mat 
ter, but intense and consecrated in his loving vigil, was the Roman officer, 
who stood in full military dress, brightness emitting from his helmet, from 
his reflecting chestplate, and from his weapon. 

Awakened from her dreaming, she withdrew from fear. Imbued with 
new maternal confidence, she saw the singleness of purpose that blended 
the two, the child and the centurion, into an integrated wholeness. 

It was all about healing-, her son was healing himself. 

Physical existence settled, the hard edges of life's changes softened, the 
apparition gradually faded from its assigned post. Hardly a month then 
passed and the soldier quit his station forever. 


Legacy of Second Sight 

The Veil 

The presence of certain body markings, delivery conditions, or 
planetary signs and changes at the time of birth have been consid 
ered, in cultures around the world and down the ages, as physical 
indications that the newborn child has entered life with unusual 
powers. The veil, or the caul, is probably the best known of the 
physical natal signs. It is a strong thin tissue which on occasion com 
pletely caps a baby's head or face at birth. The medical term is "am- 
nion," that inmost membrane filled with fluid which surrounds the 
fetus before birth. Also called the "bag of waters/ 7 Sometimes a child 
is born totally enclosed in the unbroken bag. Often associated with 
the veil are the abilities to see spirits and to prophesy. Expressions 
such as "two-headed" and "nine-headed" refer to individuals pos 
sessing psychic gifts. 

Theologian Howard Thurman wrote in his autobiography, 
With Head and Heart, of being born with special signs. 

One day, how early in my life I do not recall, I discovered 
a little scar tissue in the center of both ear lobes. When I asked 
about it, I was told that my ears had been pierced when I was a 
baby. I was told that at the time of my birth my eyes were cov 
ered by a film. This meant, according to the custom, that I was 
gifted with "second sight" a clairvoyance, the peculiar en- 


I 86 Company of Prophets 

dowment of one who could "tell" the future. No parent 
wanted a child so endowed. It spelled danger and grief. If the 
ears were pierced, however, the power of the gift would be 
dissipated. 1 

"I heard my daddy say I was born with 'nine heads/ " 
Fannie Bell Chapman of Centreville, Mississippi is a healer and 

gospel singer. She is known as a visionary. 

"He said I wasn't like none of the others/' Fannie remarks, 

whose visions began in childhood. "He said when I was born I 

looked more intelligent and was more upright/' 

Mother Mary Bivens, a spiritual healer, had visions as a child, 
and in her youth was told by a Spiritualist that she would do the 
same work. 

"My mother went to Spiritual meetings frequently. She was 
training me while I was in her stomach. I was almost born at one of 
those meetings. 

"I was born with a veil over my face. This is what they tell black 
people who are born with the gift/' 

"I was born without the aid of doctors/' reports James Moye. "I 
was born with purple and white "beads' around my neck, and a veil 
over my face." 

James is a Florida-based Yoruban priest and herbalist. 

"My mother was a Spiritualist; her father and her mother be 
fore her were Spiritualists. My paternal grandfather was also a Spiri 
tualist. From my father's side, it was what they called Obeah man, a 
man who works with magic." 

Legacy of Second Sight 1 87 

"My mother told me I was born with the veil/ 7 states June Gat- 
lin, spiritual healer, singer, and poet, who grew up on Moon Street in 
Akron, Ohio. 

From Chicago astrologer James Black she learned that at the 
time of her birth all the ancient planets were in their signs of ruler- 
ship. He used the Bible to do her chart the ancient way, and con 
veyed to her she held the key to the Lion of Judah. 

"He said he had never seen a chart like mine in his seventy 

They recognized each other instantly when they met. "I have 
been looking for you/ 7 he said to her. "I know you. You are the one to 
make the circle/ 7 

Ella Eaton, metaphysical counselor, and former New York 
Metropolitan Opera House singer, was delivered by midwives in 
the family home in North Carolina. 

"I was born with the caul/ 7 she confides. 

"My grandparents and my mother at the time were very aware 
of another dimension/ 7 

Louise Washington's grandmother told her, "I don't want you 
to forget this this is your veil. 77 

"I have seen the veil I was born in, 7/ Louise confirms. "My 
grandmother gave it to me when I was a child. It was shaped like a 
cured, hard piece of meat. It was big, and like wood. 77 

A minister, and long-time member of the National Spiritualist 
Association of Churches, Louise has a church on the Southside of 

Her mediumistic abilities have been strongly evident from 
childhood. "I tied the veil with a string/ 7 Louise explains. "I played 
with it a long time. When my grandmother felt the time was over for 
me to be playing with it, she took it away. I don't know what she did 
with it. 

"I carried my dolls around in my veil/ 7 she shares. "They fit in 
side it fine! 77 

1 88 Company of Prophets 

The Legacies 

Psychic energy grows bounteously in some families. These fa 
vored groups may produce one or more sensitives in each genera 
tion. The family may regard the presence of psychic power within its 
circle as signs of blessings or curses, based on the store of experi 
ences gathered in the family group-mind over generations. Family 
history, with a preponderance of stored positive energy impres 
sions, inclines the group toward acceptance, tolerance, nurturance; 
but with overriding negative energy storage come negligence, or 
nullification of the influences of its gifted members. 

Each gifted relative has his or her own way to express the reser 
voir of family power dwelling within. The talents apportioned 
among the generations of parents and offspring may vary greatly or 
resonate deeply with sameness. To one family member through in 
heritance may come clear-hearing, and another may be gifted with 
dreams and visions. Some psychic characteristics may continue to 
appear strongly and predictably through the generations, some 
times evident distinctly in a single family member. 

Being raised in a family where the elements of psychic energy 
are strong in the bloodline is, of course, extremely beneficial to the 
gifted person. Shared certainty about the extradimensionality of the 
universe is a strengthening force, proven many times as various 
family members utilize their gifts. With group encouragement and 
support, the psychic individual is freer to define, claim, and develop 
his or her gift. Greater inner stability is gained through being able to 
communicate to others who understand and share a history in com 
mon about something as subtle and intangible as spirit and its mani 

Among those interviewed, strong appreciation keynoted the 
relationship which the psychics shared with their psychic kin. This 
special kinship was mostly enjoyed. Comments came from parents 
about the pleasures of watching their children's intuitivity emerge 
and mature. Communicated, too, was the sense that family sen- 
tiency grew in strength at a child's magnification of a psychic trait 
that was already rooted within the group. Parents spoke of the 
measures they had taken to prepare their young children for their 
encounters with a largely disbelieving society. Overall, their inter- 

Legacy of Second Sight 189 

ests were in helping their children to participate in the general cul 
ture, without compromising their awareness or shutting off their 
gifts. Members of families with several generations of active psy 
chics seemed more confident about direction for themselves and 
their children. They were familiar with some of the ways used by 
outsiders to diminish or destroy uncommon perception and power. 

A few adults felt they had always been a part of the psychic 
force within their families; however, they resisted picking up their 
own gifts until late in life, although they had been appraised as "spe 
cial" by psychic relatives, early in their childhood. There were disap 
pointed psychic parents who were disillusioned that the strong 
power which their offspring had as child sensitives was only being 
used in superficial ways in adulthood. Several people worried about 
very capable relatives misdirecting their gifts by working toward 
egocentric or destructive goals. As one might presume, there were 
non-psychic factions in some families which pruned off what they 
considered as the "hoodoo" sides of the tree. 

To the core of the family which fully appreciates its psychic 
members, which encourages their varied expressions of psychic 
ability, is accrued an intense concentration of Truth, gained through 
group observations and experience. Through firsthand knowledge, 
the family has learned that it is not bound to earth as commonly ac 
cepted. Not locked into agreed-upon limitations. A united group, it 
experiences the transcending of physical boundaries. 

Every family projects a spiritual force created by the energies of 
individual family members. It is the combined consciousness of all 
generations, the psychic joining of ancestors and current family 
members. This force, the family spirit, is an influence for perpetually 
welding the group into a singleness and unity. When the accumu 
lated thoughts and activities of family individuals are primarily 
composed of, and dwelling in, negative energy, and in lesser states 
of awareness, then these types of energies animate the family spirit. 
In turn, the family spirit may exert greater negative influence within 
the group, even to affecting individuals. Confusion, disunity, and 
destructive behavior would be strongly manifested. 

When most family members recognize themselves as crucial 
increments of the total group knowledge, and main tributaries to the 
family spiritual awareness, the family spiritual force grows vital, 
and this wisdom is followed by the spiritual elevation of individuals 
and the whole group. Creativity, harmony, and service would be 

2 90 Company of Prophets 

among the positive energy manifestations flourishing in such states 
of group-being. This principle pertains to all groups. It does not mat 
ter whether the group is small or large. For example, a business, over 
a period of time, builds a group-spirit generated out of the concepts, 
attitudes, and intentions of its members. It especially perpetuates 
and reflects the belief systems of its founder. The business is also in 
fluenced by held-over traumatic effects from some of the group's 
more ruinous and catastrophic experiences in time. This principle of 
group-spirit, on a much larger scale, applies to nations, and even to 
ethnic and cultural groupings. 

One morning an admonishment felled the plan which Delilah 
and her cousins had made to visit a nearby aunt. Their great- 
grandmother abruptly ordained that no one was to leave the house 
that day. The restive teenagers worked on the elder to reconsider: 
the very light snow meant nothing. Finally in the early afternoon she 
bent to the badgering group's will. They left despite her exhorta 
tions. "Don't go! You are going to have an accident!' 7 

"I'll never forget this. We were like, 'Yeah! Right! Tell us 
about it! 7 

"We all got in the car and went to my aunt's. But on the way 
back, the hill we were on was the steepest hill in Pittsburgh. At the 
end of the hill, the brakes went out. 

"I was holding my cousin's baby, and I jumped out of the car 
with the baby. All of us jumped out. The car went right into a row of 

"Then I started respecting and seeing all along my grand 
mother was telling us things. What we should, what we shouldn't 
do, who would come in the house that was okay, and who wasn't. 
These are the kinds of unorthodox tools which were basically part of 
our life style." 

Delilah Grayer and her daughter, Bakara Oni Lewis, come from 
a line of women seers. In growing up in a household often shared by 
six generations of the family, Delilah was witness to events affirm 
ing that in the group of family women there harbored an intense 
form of insight. Her mother, grandmother, as well as her great- 
grandmother who raised her, bear its elements. 

Legacy of Second Sight 1 91 

Delilah, a psychic consultant, lives in Cleveland, Ohio. At five 
years old, her psychic talent was evident; and her daughter, Bakara 
Oni, was yet a toddler when she showed prescience. 

Delilah was 36 years old when her daughter was born. Shortly 
after the child was conceived, the women in the family were aware 
that the newcomer would be a girl and gifted. 

Actress Cicely Tyson observed she always had an ability to "see 
things/ 7 to foretell certain events before they happened, and to know 
sometimes in advance what people were going to say to her. At 
times, she senses what a friend might be doing at a given moment. 
Earlier in her life, her gift was somewhat frightening to her, but she 
has since accepted it. 

Tyson discussed these psychic attributes in a January, 1979 arti 
cle in Ebony. She noted that her psychic characteristics were shared 
by her mother. Had she listened to her mother years back, Tyson 
said, she would not have the large scar on her arm. 

When she was young, each child in the family had chores to do. 
Hers included washing all the windows in their Bronx "railroad" 
apartment a task she enjoyed. One morning she was strictly ad 
monished by her mother not to wash the windows, to absolutely 
stay away from glass that day. 

After their mother left for work, Tyson and her sister started 
playing. A chase from room to room ensued. With Tyson quickly 
gaining on her, the sister slammed the French doors to escape. 
Tyson's arm went through the glass, cutting her severely. A neigh 
bor took her to the hospital. 

Upon returning home, Tyson's mother regarded her bandaged 
child and said almost nothing to her about the incident. Tyson said 
she later realized her mother had foreseen the injury and had pre 
pared herself to accept whatever happened. Other occurrences also 
demonstrated her mother's gift, she commented. 

"Out of the ten children in my childhood family, all of us are 
psychic, including the boys. I'm the only one in the family that actu- 

192 Company of Prophets 

ally uses the gift. Nobody else uses theirs/ 7 

Raised in the Methodist church, Vera, her sisters, and her broth 
ers were also familiar with the Spiritual churches of Atlanta. Their 
mother often invited spiritual people to the family home, where she 
participated in the organizing of some of the Spiritual churches. 
Vera says none in the circle of friends would give readings to her 
mother because her own resources at revelation were so strong. 

"She was a born seer. We kids couldn't get away with any 

Atlanta, where she was born, is still home to Vera Sutton. She 
leaves it for brief periods to give workshops and group readings in 
places like New York, Pennsylvania, California, and Alaska. She 
teaches metaphysics and meditation. Astrology, palmistry, numer 
ology, and the Tarot are some of the methods she uses to perceive 
psychic information. But most of the time Vera obtains information 
by the natural knowing about things, a talent she has had since 

"My mother never restricted me from saying what I felt about 
people. That allowed me to always say what I saw. Children have a 
direct influx into the infinite. All they see is what is. They don't see 
any of the other stuff. That's why they are so accurate about whether 
they like this person, or why they are such good judges of character. 
That's where it comes from. She never restricted me. 

"Most parents would say, 'That's not nice.' It allowed me my 
own spiritual information. 

"My mother didn't push the devil. My mother said you're your 
own devil. I've discovered down through the years that that is the 
truth of the matter. So she was real wise in what she taught, and any 
information that she gave." 

Vera's own children, three in number, made predictions while 
very young. Her daughter had psychic astuteness about the 
weather; and her middle child, a son, clear-speaking even at one- 
and-a-half years, perceived his mother's spiritual progress as she 
moved along in her meditational and unf oldment studies. He called 
his observations of her changes "blessings." This child also made 
predictions by objects which had numerical symbology, delighting 
his mother's number-oriented clients. He tapped his way into his 
potential for dream clairvoyance at an early age. In assessing her 
youngest child, affectionately caUed "Pumpkin," Vera saw his abil 
ity to detect and understand the emotions of others. At five, he was 

Legacy of Second Sight 1 93 

reading some of her clients. He, like his brother, "dreamed true/ 7 

"Children handle spiritual psychicness that way because of 
this direct in-tuneness they have with the infinite. They don't see it 
as a big deal because they said it would rain and it rained. As we 
grow into adulthood, then that's when people stifle their own natu 
ralness about being able to be intuitive. I believe everybody is psy 
chic to whatever degree it is, and we all use it in different ways. Men, 
too they use theirs in their work. The constant practicing over and 
over again is just like practicing meditation. 

"I believe my gift and talent is all about making sure people be 
come self aware/ 7 Vera emphasizes. "That the lost key to life, or hap 
piness, or wholeness, is self awareness. So I teach it, all forms of it." 

"Part of my roots are Indian. My mother was half-white and 
half-Indian. My mother was like my guru, basically because she was 
that kind of spiritual person. I consider that I inherit my spirituality 
or my psychic abilities from my mother." 

Hayward Coleman is a mime and physical comedian who per 
forms internationally. 

"My mother was psychic, because of her Indian abilities, or that 
type of consciousness. She was a sensitive woman. She, herself, had 
seen spirits many times. It was normal for her people to know this, 
and to have this knowledge. To be able to see spirits and communi 
cate with their ancestors/ 7 

In girlhood, she had once reported a presence in their home to 
her own mother. From the child's description, her mother identified 
the apparition as a former occupant of their cabin, who had died be 
fore the girl was born. 

Hayward remembers an incident from his boyhood. His 
mother, sensing something burning at three o'clock in the morning, 
woke him up to check on it. She refused to let him return to bed after 
he investigated their building where he neither found nor smelled 
anything unusual. Under her direction, he checked outside then- 
area, and then finally went to look in a neighboring apartment. Peer 
ing through the window, Hayward caught sight of a sleeping man. 
And in that same instant a flame shot up from the mattress. By rap 
ping on the window, Hayward was able to alert the neighbor, who 

2 94 Company of Prophets 

put out the fire. 

"From that moment on I began to become aware, and tune in to 
my mother, and began to understand her sensitivities/ 7 

In adolescence, Hayward's psychic awareness found expres 
sion through visions. His abilities became more available in young 
adulthood, manifesting through mediumship, telepathic communi 
cation, and astral travel. He, like his mother, has an ability to see 

In childhood Luisah watched her mother "like a hawk/' 

"My mother did things that she took for granted/' she looks 
back. "She took for granted certain things she knows about planting. 
The way she would interpret dreams. Healing a pig. Making a way 
out of no way. Mother said she wasn't much of an altar mother like 
her sister, but once in a while she would do a little work with the 
saints on somebody's behalf/' 

Luisah Teish, author, healer, teacher, and priestess, speaks of 
how her life has been influenced by her mother's intuitivity. 

lajambalaya: The Natural Woman's Book, Luisah writes of a time 
she was in bed with severe respiratory problems and fever, an inci 
dent illustrating the intense spiritual interconnection between the 
author and her mother. "I was too sick to heal myself (I thought) and 
too stubborn to die. I remember asking the question, 'What would 
Mama do if her child was this sick?' I asked the question and drifted 
into near-delirious sleep. 2 

"Some time passed; then I got up. As my feet hit the floor, I no 
ticed varicose veins in my legs (which I do not have), and my mus 
cles were not sore. I stood up and felt my hips much larger than they 
are (laugh, girls!). Itseemed as if I were wearing my mother's body." 

Perceiving as if she were her mother, Luisah prepared a range 
of remedies. She became herself upon returning to bed, almost too 
weak to use the preparations. Her "mother" tended to Luisah until 
daybreak. The illness dispelled in sleep. 

Luisah comments, "This cannot be called an egun (spirit) expe 
rience, because my mother is still in her body. Maybe she sensed that 
I was in distress and projected her intelligence to my aid. 

"In our household," Luisah recalls, "the one thing that was real 

Legacy of Second Sight 1 95 

clear, was Mama's pointed finger. And that is still an accurate oracle. 
If Mama points her finger at you and says something this will 
come to pass. When we were little and she would do this, we would 
scatter !" 

The following is excerpted from Jambalaya: 

Late one evening I was standing on the corner enjoying 
the liquor store light and eavesdropping when my mother 
called me to come inside. I responded, "In- a-minute, Moma." 
She squinted her eyes and said, "All right, 'In-A-Minute', 
mark my word, you gon' come running yo' behind in here!" I 
thought to sabotage the 12-foot journey by walking slowly, 
dragging my feet, when suddenly out of nowhere a creepy, 
buzzing, flying thing crash-landed in my flat bosom. I 
screamed, ripping at my clothes and ran into the house. My 
mother reached into my T-shirt and pulled out a crushed lo 
cust. She threw the thing out the window and as she scrubbed 
my chest with a soapy towel, she looked at me, smiled, and 
said, "Child, you'se a mess, yeah cher, wid yo' cheeky self." 

11 As a child, I watched my mother predict accurately. Just on a 
limb. 'Child, I tell you, this is what's going to happen with that/ 
Boom! and it happened just the way she said!" 

Sandra Barry Bonner first knew she was psychic at ten years 
old. Severely upset, she had gone to bed, midday. "I opened my eyes 
and saw three people at the foot of my bed. They were just standing 
there. I rubbed my eyes, expecting them to vanish to go away but 
they didn't!" 

Sandra explains nowadays she gets impressions from shaking 
hands, and personal belongings. She calls herself a prophetic 
dreamer. She "sees" things. She dreamed about her present hus 
band, Ron, about four weeks before they met. Ron Bonner, also psy 
chic, about that time was using Tarot cards, and saw a Leo coming 
into his life! 

A child sensitive, Sandra did not try to sort out what was hap 
pening to her until she was well into her teens. At sixteen she studied 
astrology. She experimented with witches' spells. Frightened dur 
ing one exploration, she avoided all psychic activities for a couple of 

1 96 Company of Prophets 

"I began picking up things on people. I would have prophetic 
dreams/ 7 she continues. Sometimes she told her mother, who has 
similar gifts. Her father always had an interest in psychic things. She 
soon began looking for information on her abilities again. 

Sandra, who is a school teacher, grew up in Los Angeles. At 
twenty-two, while working on her Masters in education, she began 
meditating and doing readings. Soon she joined a group which in 
spired her to work on psychic development. "I feel Fm a better psy 
chic reader than I am a school teacher, though I feel Fm a very good 
teacher!" Sandra reflects. Besides her psychic and teaching abilities, 
she is a skilled musician. 

She teaches junior high school, but during most of her career, 
she has taught the first through fifth grades. Her student population 
is mostly comprised of African American and Hispanic, lower-in 
come children. "In my classes I include meditation and relaxation 
techniques. Visualization and positive affirmation are part of my 
lesson plans. This is to help raise these children's low self-esteem. 
They need a lot of love/' 

Sandra's oldest daughter, Jamilla, is psychic. "She dreams very 
well!" the mother declares. Jamilla learned about psychometry from 
her stepfather, Ron. 

When Jamilla was around two years old and still working on 
learning to pronounce words, she and her mother witnessed a seri 
ous traffic accident. They were at the scene when one of the seriously 
injured victims was being taken to the hospital. 

Jamilla viewed the state of the person's body and his psychic 
being and then confidently and authoritatively announced to her 
mother: "He'll yive!" 

"I come from a very psychic family," says astrologer Kenneth 
Dickkerson, a New York City resident who also does psychic 
Kirilian photography readings. 

"My mother could astrally project at will. There were all kinds 
of ghost stories in my family. I was familiar with that. But as far as 
astrology, Tarot readings I had never really heard of those things. 
My mother introduced them to me. 

"All that time, I had no real awareness of my own psychic abil- 

Legacy of Second Sight 197 

ity," Ken admits. "I realize now that I used it a lot and didn't know 
what I was using. 

"When I first heard of the astrology thing, I thought it was ri 
diculous. Someone telling you things about the time you were born. 
I thought it was somewhat of a ripof f . I decided I would like to inves 
tigate it and see what it was and expose it. My uncle told me about 
this astrologer who lived in the same neighborhood, and who blew 
my mind. 

"By the time this astrologer was finished, I felt I was walking 
nine inches off the ground. He told me things about myself that I 
didn't know were true but which made sense. He told me that my 
life was very close to my chart. I have to admit that after hearing 
that it turned me really on to it. I immediately felt I would like to 
learn how to do this/ 7 

In 1975, his mother again prompted him. Calling from Califor 
nia, she told him about the Kirilian camera his father had con 
structed. The photographs were unusual, she said. In addition to 
getting pictures of the aura which surrounds the fingertips, the pho 
tographs contained faces, astrological symbols, numbers, past-life 
personalities, and sometimes spirit guides. 

Ken commented on his reaction to his mother's news in Lloyd 
Strayhorn's column in the Amsterdam News, September, 1982. 

"To say the least, on hearing this, goose bumps started popping 
out all over my body. She definitely piqued my interest. And so to 
make a long story short, I constructed a camera and became a 
Kirilian photographer. I now enjoy working in this field. 3 

"I have even done readings on my daughters!" Ken smiles. 

"When I was five, I had a beautiful black cocker spaniel, 
Beauty, and I could talk to her," London Wildwind reminisces. "She 
would be asleep, and I remember thinking, 'I wish Beauty would 
come over so I could rub her/ She would open up her eyes, and walk 
over and sit by me. She used to do that many times. I didn't think 
about it until later on that I had telepathy." 

London's mother, Ellen, was psychically gifted. "She was the 
one who had those kinds of abilities in the family. She used to see 
ghosts she called them 'haints' walking around the house. She 

I 98 Company of Prophets 

told my brother and me about them/ 7 

London's conscious efforts to develop his intuitivity began at 
20. Influenced by a metaphysical book, he tested his potential to as 
tral travel, finding he could exit his body quickly. After that, psychic 
experiences were spontaneous. Pots rattled when he looked at them. 
He saw spirits. They talked to him. He says his real psychic gift came 
through while talking to friends by telephone. 

"I'd just be talking with someone, and I'd say, 'I feel it is going 
to happen this way/ And it would occur as I said. It was all very 
natural. It would come just out of the top of my head/ 7 

Personal consultations and metaphysical study groups are two 
of the techniques London uses in working with people out of his San 
Francisco office. He describes one of the aims for working with peo 
ple: "I prepare people for new stages of life/ 7 

"My mother died when I was twenty-one. She began to slowly 
communicate with me. I did get messages from her. 

"Her sister had also died, and she communicated with me very, 
very clearly. I remember her coming in and saying, Take care of my 
children/ 1 saw her face. It was an emotional plea. She was there and 
knew they really needed help/ 7 

London was meditating once when his deceased grandfather 
appeared. The spirit signified it had been trying to get in touch for 
two years. Etheric glasses were propped in front of London's eyes. 
His grandfather's message was that they were to give him a "long 
range view/ 7 The action showed that the being's humor had en 
dured. During his lifetime, the former old man had visions, saw 
ghosts, and told his grandson of much of it in a light and inspiring 
way. He was the third member of the family to make a post-life ap 
pearance to London. 

"My long-range goals are probably to make films. There are 
some films I want to make, especially one film for black people. 

"I'm for mixing everybody together. Our family is a mixed 
family, Cherokee, Choctaw, Irish, Welsh, French, and Creole. I don't 
have any prejudices against anyone. I really don't identify with a 
black cause other than getting people out of being prejudiced 
against black people. 

"I was born with the veil on my eyes, 7/ comments London. "My 
mother said my eyes were green for three days, and the doctor had 
to put a solution on them to take the veil off/' 

Legacy of Second Sight 1 99 

"I didn't pay any attention to my mother's psychic ability until 
I was in college. I remember her tuning into things about people far 
away, and then having whatever she said about somebody mani 
festing/' states Latifu Munirah, a college instructor and social 
worker. "She told me she used to read cards when she was growing 
up and was quite good at it. She would read ordinary playing cards. 
I think after my brother and I came, she stopped reading them. I sent 
her a book and a deck. Nothing! To some extent, she is scared of her 
powers and she won't develop them." 

While forming a new life, after separating from her husband, 
Latifu was helped to know that like her mother she also was a 
reader. Strong, too, was her self-knowledge of her healing, and spiri 
tual-teacher potentials. In 1980, she began developing these poten 

Latifu's mother was the first to know of her only daughter's 
pregnancy. She predicted to her child that the baby would be a girl. 
Awed by the remark drawn from her mothers dream state, which 
later proved true, Latifu felt in touch with the depth of her mother's 

Of Frank Gipson's four children, a daughter in childhood 
"saw" and told him of her contact with unembodied beings. Even 
then, the signs of the healing faculty were with her, he contends. She 
has never acknowledged her gifts. But he watches her merge them 
into her techniques in nursing. 

According to Frank, his late mother, well-known southwestern 
faith healer Lillian Chatman, received her gift from her mother. The 
force of these group traits remained animated and expressed later in 
the son, Frank, who was teamed up with his mother to do healing 
missions. "My grandmother was a healer," he states. "She told my 
mother that someday she would be like her." 

Dream-state communication is strong between his deceased 
mother and Frank, who continues his own healing and counseling 

Of his daughter's abilities, though yet by her to be recognized, 

200 Company of Prophets 

Frank declares, "I know she is chosen/ 7 

During critical periods in his family life while he was growing 
up, Allen Young's mother received significant information through 
prophetic dreams. 

"She didn't know anything about astrology. She didn't know 
anything about Tarot cards/' Allen relates. 

"She seemed to have dreams at key times which kind of blew 
the family away. She knew when her mother was going to die. She 
said it. She knew when my father was going to have a heart attack. 
She said it/ 7 

Allen confides, "She knew certain things about family mem 
bers from time to time. She knew when my stepbrother was in seri 
ous trouble with the law. She knew about inheriting money. She did 
n't have a lot of dreams, but enough so that when we were kids, she 
seemed to have dreams which consistently said something." 

Allen is an astrologer and the founder of the San Francisco 
Aquarian Institute. 

"I hear voices clearly and sometimes receive strong visual im 
pressions," says Geri Glass, a clairaudient and psychic consultant 
practicing in Los Angeles. "The first time I predicted to a friend, I 
was 10 or 11 years old. We were seriously talking and I tuned into 
her. I didn't know exactly what I was doing. I could see, and I heard a 

Geri explains the psychic activities in her family as being 
hushed. "One of my aunts used roots and washes for healings. On 
my father's side, they practiced something which was hidden. I 
never knew. 

"After my mother was murdered, I had conversations with 
her, r/ Geri recalls. "Sometimes in dreams. Some were so real! In one, 
she recited a poem to me. She told me it was beautiful where she 
was. The next day, I saw her at the top of the stairs. She told me not to 
seek revenge for her murder. 

"After that experience, I was able to let her go." 

Legacy of Second Sight 201 

Born in 1910 to a Shawnee American Indian woman who was 
'Very psychic/' Nellye Taylor reflects on events at the first of this 
century. "My mother didn't use her gift like Fve used mine. She 
would prophesy from time to time. But her mother stopped her. She, 
too, was a Shawnee Indian. She thought it was witchcraft/' 

"My mother was a Quaker. When she was young, the govern 
ment sent her to Hampton Institute in Virginia for schooling/' 

"I was born a medium. At the time I was growing up, Spiritual 
ism was not that well known." 

Nellye was popular, other children liked her to tell about their 
futures; but adults cautioned her against prophesying. She pre 
dicted the weather, and could tell when a person was lying. 

A resident of Phoenix and member of the Spiritualist church 
since 1933, Nellye is a medium, working with her guide, Great 

"She came around just as I woke up this morning/' April says 
brightly of her great-great-grandmother, Vinnie Strong. "One time 
she took me to a place when I was asleep. To a place where there are 
green people and everything was green!" 

Vinnie Strong has become a spirit guardian for her young 
great-great-granddaughter April. Although Vinnie died long before 
April's birth in 1980, she still communicates with the child and her 
mother, Lori King, through dreams, and occasional apparitional ap 
pearances. She returns, giving advice and remedies when April has 
physical or emotional upsets. 

The discarnate elder coached and chided Lori, during her preg 
nancy with April, about proper activities and nutrition. As Lori indi 
cates, she has remained a dominant and respected influence in their 
lives from the spirit dimension. 

April kicked in time to music before she was born. As an infant 
she would consistently wake up five minutes before her father was 
due home. She sent pictures when she was hungry, and gave psy 
chic information by touching playing cards before she could talk. 

"Vinnie Strong had African royal blood when she came here. 

202 Company of Prophets 

She came to the States, free/' Lori informs. 

"She always turns up when April is sick to tell me what to do. 
She shows up a lot. I know sometimes in dreams she takes April 
places. I feel pretty safe about it/ 7 

From her side of the family, Lori, who is white, traces her psy 
chic heritage to her great-grandmother, who was a reader in New 
Orleans. "I've been hearing voices and seeing spirits and having 
premonitions as long as I can remember/' Lori says. "That's always 
been there. It's definitely an inherited trait. It comes from my fa 
ther's side of the family. April has it from both families. April and I 
are fortunate in that nobody closed us off." 

Lillian Washington, a woman in her sixties, has visions day and 

She has lived on James Island, South Carolina all her life. She 
says the real Bess of George Gershwin's opera Porgy and Bess lives on 
the island, too, and looks very good in her old age. 

Lillian is a singer, and a member of the island's St. James Pres 
byterian Church choir. The quality of the choir is such that it rou 
tinely goes on tour. 

There is a young woman, on the same island, who sees into the 
ethereal realm. Twenty-six angels, each representing a different 
country on Earth, have communicated with her since she was in her 
teens. This young woman is Lillian's granddaughter. 

" Tears like my heart go flutter, flutter, and den dey may say 
'Peace, Peace!' as much as dey likes, I know its gwine to be war!" 

This description is found in the biography Harriet Tubman: The 
Moses of Her People, by Sarah Bradford. "She says she always knows 
when there is danger near her she does not know how, exactly." 4 

Harriet Tubman's psychic endowment was varied and rich. In 
helping slaves to escape she made use of her powers. 

Her father could always predict the weather, and he foretold 
the Mexican war, she asserted. Some of her intense attributes were 
founded on the premonitive power which she said was inherited 
from her father. 


Diversities of Gifts 

Varied Talents 

"It's hard to explain about a vision. It's not anything you can 
touch, of course, but you know it's there. It's about the only thing 
that is real to you while it's going on. I guess it comes closer to being 
like a dream than anything else, but it's not exactly like that, nei 
ther/' expressed C.C. White in his autobiography, No Quittiri Sense. 1 

A lifelong resident of Texas, White, a preacher, was born in 
1885. He remembered being inspired to preach at three years old. 

"... I got me some sticks. I tied rags around some to make skirts 
for girls, and left some just plain for boys. Then I stuck them in the 
ground and preached them a sermon ... I told them to repent of their 
sins, just like I'd heard the preacher say. And I sang them 'Old 
Mourner' till I got tired. Then I dug me a hole and poured some 
water in it and baptized them/' 

White's first visionary experience was in 1925. A vision in 1928 
prompted his move to Jacksonville where he founded a church, and 
built God's Little Storehouse. 

"I told Marthy (his wife), T been preaching, Bring your tithes to 
the storehouse! and I ain't got no storehouse. I think what I need to 
do is put me up something out here, a building people can see and 
touch, so they'll know there is a storehouse, and so I'll have a place to 
keep the tithes they bring/ 

"... And from that first day on, ain't never been a time I ain't 
had a little something in there to give God's hungry folks/' 

His congregation and community people brought donations of 
food, clothing, and money to the storehouse to help the needy. 


204 Company of Prophets 

"When God gives you a vision your whole body kind of soaks 
up the message, like a biscuit soaks up red-eye gravy/' continued 
White in his book, co-authored with Ada Morehouse Holland. " And 
sometimes you can hear the message as well as feel it. And some 
times you can see it. But generally can't none of the people around 
you see it or hear it. Leastwise, none of the people around me ever 

"Fear not, gather my children!" Mary Thomas saw Christ, in a 
vision, walking steadily up a mountain. When He reached the top, 
He spoke those words. 

Mary is the founder and executive director of the Serene Com 
munity Homes, Incorporated in Sacramento, California, an organi 
zation serving the needs of handicapped children. The non-profit 
organization consists of three twenty-four-hour residential treat 
ment facilities, and a private special education school. Service is pro 
vided to developmentally disabled children, emotionally disturbed 
children, and children with learning disabilities. 

One evening, earlier in her life, Mary volunteered to help in the 
fund-raising activities of a church; her mission began unfolding in a 
series of unusual events. She felt compelled to get up after only a few 
hours of sleep that night. And over a period of seven days, she expe 
rienced a shifting in her consciousness. She was influenced in that 
inward remaking to anoint her own head with oil she blessed, then 
to cleanse herself with water. The first day she performed the ritual 
three times, each time repeating the same pronouncement: "In the 
name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. 

"I saw a configuration of the Father beckoning to me, beckon 
ing to me and looking at his Son. What was going through my mind 
very strongly was, 'This is my Beloved Son, believe in Him/ " 

Mary's family remained around her over the seven-day transi 
tional period, but no one questioned her or seemed to regard her be 
havior as strange. She had a sense of being totally accepted by them. 

"A golden key was dropped in my hand. I could actually feel 
my hand sting from it. I saw a woman and a huge body of water, the 
most beautiful water I have ever seen. This woman was standing at 
the edge of that water. Her shoes were off her feet. They were black 

Diversities of Gifts 205 

brogans, and they were beside her. She had her hair parted in the 
middle, and it was taken back. She was slender, and her dress had a 
Peter Pan collar. This woman looked at me. Her eyes followed me 
until she had my full attention. She just drew me in with her eyes. 

"She said, 'You have it, you know, now do it! 7 " 

The woman she had seen in that vision, Mary later discovered, 
was Ellen White, founder of Seventh Day Adventism. 

"Then I looked and saw another woman coming toward me. 
She had a bandana on her head. I looked and I said, 'That's me! 7 1 was 
coming toward myself !" 

Seven signs were shown to Mary in her first experiencing of vi 
sions. "On my brochure today, there is one sign that I remember, and 
I know one day all the others will come back. It is all coming to 
gether/ 7 

Mary actually began her work with handicapped children after 
talking with a neighbor, the foster parent of several young develop- 
mentally disabled children. During their conversation, Mary experi 
enced a strong realization that this was the work she was to do. "I 
could hardly wait to get up the next morning to go to the agency. I 
told (the licensing social worker), T want to work with children who 
have problems, the children who really need my services. I want the 
most handicapped children that you have/ 7/ 

In the process of that spiritual reformative period, Mary re 
ceived psychic information on nutrition which proved beneficial 
later to the children placed with her. 

Mary was born in Durham, North Carolina. She earned a doc 
torate in the field of nutrition in 1983. Her work with children began 
in New Jersey. In 1974, she moved to Sacramento. 

She continues to receive knowledge and intercession through 
visions. She reminisces about an occasion of being guided from tak 
ing a premature action in the sequence of establishing her work. "I 
went in and lay down. I heard this crunch, crunch, like somebody 
walking on sand. Then I saw this clear white sand and still heard the 
crunch, crunch. I was not asleep. I knew it was either Christ or an an 
gel who said, 'I am with you. Would you go out before you are 
ready? Wait until you are ready/ " 

Before going in to apply for her first foster parent license, Mary 
had randomly read from the Bible which she had spontaneously 
picked up. "I just opened it up. It opened up to the part where Peter 
had asked Christ, 'Who has sinned that this man be born blind, the 

206 Company of Prophets 

parents or the grandparents?' 

"Christ's answer was, 'None. That this be the will of my Father 
that his goodness will be manifested/ 1 closed the Bible. 

"And that is still my philosophy with these homes and my 
agency today, that these handicapped children are like this because 
if we do our jobs, then the manifestation of Christ will come through 
and bring them into balance/' 

Urged by an inner voice, Memelle Wilson prayed for her hus 
band. The voice directed her to specific Bible passages. 

"I fell into a mixing machine/' Memelle's husband said later, 
when he came home from work. With no immediate way to control 
the machine, the rest of the crew stood around in helpless dread over 
his imminent mutilation. But, miraculously, the machine switched 
off. The accident was happening, Memelle found out, at the precise 
time she was urged to pray. 

Inner voice instructions first came when she was eight or nine 
years old. The onset of visions arrived in the same time. Perceiving 
in those ways was thought normal in her family. Memelle's mother 
had visions, and her grandmother, prophetic dreams. The two often 
and very naturally communicated with each other by thought. 

"Things don't work out well when I don't follow the inner 
voice," she explains. 

A bright light appeared to Memelle while she was doing yoga 
and meditational exercises. It stayed around the first time, following 
her throughout the house. Now, when she is very upset, the light re 
turns, creating a calming influence. 

Perceptive individuals have acknowledged Memelle's help in 
reversing the course of illness after she prayed for their healing. She 
also influences the weather. 

Aware of some of her own past lives, Memelle says her mother 
has reincarnated as one of the grandchildren. 

Memelle grew up inShreveport, Louisiana. She devotes herself 
to creating constructive thought. "I have associated myself with 
positive thinkers," she says. She formed her ideal of the positive 
thinker from her grandmother and mother. 

She taught many years in "rough" schools as a substitute 

Diversities of Gifts 207 

teacher in the San Francisco Bay area, where she lives. One class, 
with a reputation of rowdiness, responded dramatically after she 
meditated for peace. The students became so well-behaved that the 
principal, disbelieving what he saw, kept checking in! 

"You have always been a beautiful sister. You are very special. 
Don't worry. I am happy. This is the end of physical life/' 2 

Those words were given clearly to Calestine Williams by her 
brother, Benjamin Perry, in a dream while she lay in bed. 

"Oh, no!" she moaned aloud, and began crying. 

"What's wrong?" Calestine's daughter inquired anxiously, 
having entered the bedroom. 

"Benjamin has died." 

"No, Mommy, you were asleep." 

The phone rang and her daughter answered. She was shocked 
by the call. Slowly, she put down the phone. 

"Mother, you were right. This is your mother and your brother 
has died." 

One of her many psychic experiences, this particular incident 
was related by Calestine in the Commercial Appeal in April, 1979. 

Born in Mississippi, she is now a resident of Memphis, Tennes 
see and an administrator in the field of public health. 

Obvious by the time she was six, Calestine's psychic gifts are 
wide-ranged. She sees the future and the past, and sends and re 
ceives thought messages. Through the emanations from energy, she 
knows the thoughts, emotions, attitudes, and conditions of people, 
objects, and geographical areas. 

Calestine has been a frequent guest lecturer on the subject of 
her abilities at Memphis State University. She also appears on televi 

"I work by telephone or in person," she says. "I have the person 
talk for a while, and as the energies come through I give a message. I 
can sense things about an area, the feeling about a house." 

In counseling she works to raise individuals' awareness of 
themselves, and to assist them in bringing out their own abilities. "I 
try to motivate people to listen to the Self. My own growth is in 
working with people, seeing them change, seeing them coming into 

208 Company of Prophets 


A startling message came to Calestine about her father whom 
she had not seen for three decades. From rumor, she knew he might 
be living somewhere in Beaufort, South Carolina. But this news of 
him came flowing strongly and clearly through her innerspace, by 
passing all physical barriers to communicate about his condition. 
Through what she calls 'Vibes/' Calestine saw her father in a room, 
near death, with sores covering his body. By bus, she left home in 
Memphis to search for him in Beaufort. In tracing him, she was 
guided by the vibes, which intensified as she approached his home. 
There she found him in the condition she perceived through the en 

Her father cried over how she had located him. Vibes also told 
Calestine her father would recover despite medical opinion that he 
was terminally ill. She brought him home, tended him, and his 
health improved. 

Dr. Everett L. Sutter, a psychologist at Memphis State Univer 
sity, invites Calestine to visit some of his classes in parapsychology 
and share the podium. "She has been a tremendous asset to the 
class/ 7 he stated. "She is excellent as a person of precognition abili 
ties and relates beautifully to the students/ 7 

The article in the Commercial Appeal goes on to describe another 
incident in which Calestine demonstrated her gift. A student re 
ported, "We'd never seen each other until I went to a class of Dr. Sut- 
ter's. In an informal moment afterward, she told me, 'You are preg 
nant (which was obvious), but you are not married (which was not 
supposed to be obvious). I was, like in shock. I didn't know her at all, 
but she was 100 per cent accurate!" 

Johnnie saw her husband becoming more spirit than physical. 
She said to their daughter, "We are losing Daddy/' He passed with 
suddenness in 1977, and she thought she would go insane from the 
loss and the subsequent effects. 

The day he left, he manifested to his sister-in-law. In his easy 
going style, the apparition said, "Good-bye, black gal!" 

The first year of his death, he came home every night. Johnnie 
could feel him getting into bed; and in the morning, there was the 

Diversities of Gifts 209 

smell of coffee as he always made it. 

"I didn't want to let him go/ 7 

"Everything is going to turn out all right/ 7 his spirit telepathi- 
cally informed Johnnie, worried about a business transaction. Her 
anxiety abated with hearing the physical vibration of his voice. 

The time came, though, when he stood in spirit form before her 
as though he were alive again, well-groomed, smiling, and light. "I 
am happy, I won't be back/ 7 

"I kept screaming for him/ 7 Johnnie recalls. He became angry 
over her reaction. His emotion jarred her, so she released him for 
both their sakes. "We were very close. He was out-going, a free- 
spirit, and religious. He taught me so much about life/ 7 

They had been married more than thirty years. Johnnie's hus 
band would say to her, "Hey girl, you're unusual! " He was the first 
to really recognize she had gifts, and told her God sent him to take 
care of her. 

Long-time resident of Los Angeles, Johnnie Page was born in 
Birmingham, Alabama. In addition to doing individual counseling, 
she teaches classes in metaphysics and has hosted radio programs. 

She made predictions as a child. Those early signs of her gifts 
were mostly buried by parental hushes and rejections. Her mother 
ascribed Johnnie's gifts to "listening to grown-ups' business/ 7 

"I used to dream a lot. I used to get visions through dreams, 77 
Johnnie reveals. "I was gifted in knowing who was going to be Presi 
dent. I could tell. Eisenhower was my first experience. It came in a 
vision, in which this little newspaper boy was screaming and holler 
ing, 'Eisenhower, President of the United States! 7 " 

Johnnie told someone at work the next day who said, "You've 
got to be crazy! Nobody would elect a fighting man for President. 
This man knows nothing but war! 77 

"I don't care. Spirit told me last night! 77 Johnnie's co-worker 
laughed and walked off. 

The second presidential visions Johnnie had were of Ken 
nedy his election and assassination. The Spirit told her when 
Johnson was going to resign. "I told my husband, and he said, 'Oh 
Lady, no man would leave his party hanging like that! 7 

"I said, 'He 7 s going to tell it tonight when he gives his State of 
the Union message. So just be ready! 7 

"We were listening for it. Johnson got through with his State of 
the Union message, but he did not give that resignation message! I 

210 Company of Prophets 

was devastated! My husband said, 'Well, you didn't make it that 


"I said, It's true! It's true!' 

"And he did give his resignation in the next two or three days. 
He said he intended to do it at the State of the Union address, but he 
changed suits at the last minute and left his speech in the other suit 

"I said, 'I know my spirits wouldn't do me that way!' " 

Johnnie began to relate to her spirit guides outside of dreams 
and visions around 1975. At a Friday night message meeting, con 
ducted by Dr. James Thomas of the School of Guiding Light in Los 
Angeles, she was chosen to do the reading. She was astonished, but 
consented. She had never worked with a group. "People asked the 
questions, they were put in a bottle. The first question I drew, I began 
to talk. I don't know where the things came from. It looked like I be 
gan to be someone else and was taking charge. I did it that night and 
everybody was amazed. Things started to happen that I wasn't con 
scious of. I called the names, the places. I wasn't conscious then of 
that. After that Dr. Thomas took me under his wing. We became 
very good friends. He taught me discipline. He had all kinds of 
classes and I was involved. 

"Nothing told me how I knew. I became conscious of me. Looks 
like something came, and I became conscious of me. 

"I thought it was just something that everybody had. When I 
would tell somebody something, they would just look at me and 
say, 'Ahhh!' I would think, 'Do they think I'm crazy?' I thought 
maybe I talked too much. That everybody else knew it but they just 
didn't say it." 

Johnnie has two spirit guides. " Sometimes it will be Michael, 
the Guardian Angel. I love him. It seemed like I claimed him. And 
sometimes I have a happy-go-lucky Japanese. He came to me 
through a dream." 

In working with individuals, Johnnie says, "I use a person's 
birthpath. I am clairvoyantly in tune with that person. I can call 
places, times, and names. Also while I am talking with that person, I 
can tell if the birthdate is correct, a forgery, or when they really don't 
know it. There is something about the true birthdate. It comes so 
spontaneously. It just flows out. When it is forged I seem to feel the 
insecurity about it. 

"Sometimes, when I am talking with a person, I see it like a 

Diversities of Gifts 211 

movie screen. Sometimes I get voices and then sometimes the two 
will be together. It is never always a set pattern/ 7 

Johnnie enjoys explaining her metaphysical philosophy. "I be 
lieve that God made a purpose for all things He creates. He gave tal 
ent to all, and those who did use it He multiplied. Those who did not 
use it, He took it away. 

"I also know that my God has given me the knowledge of 
knowing the difference between right and wrong/ 7 she asserts. "I be 
lieve that we are responsible for us/ 7 

"Tom sings beautifully, and he doesn't have to learn any tunes. 
He knows them all. As soon as we begin to sing, he sings right along 
with us! 773 

In these words a slaveholder's child wonderingly described 
one of the abilities of Thomas Greene Bethune. Born as a slave on 
May 25, 1849 in the vicinity of Columbus, Georgia, he has been con 
sidered a "musical medium 77 in metaphysical circles. Blind from 
birth, he is generally known as "Blind Tom/ 7 

George P. Rawick recorded in The American Slave: A Composite 
Autobiography that Blind Tom's talent for music was evident before 
he was two years old. A piano was brought into the household when 
he was not quite four, and Tom quickly mastered it. Upon hearing 
lengthy pieces of music he was able to reproduce them note for note. 
At five years he composed "Rainstorm, 77 revealing what he felt the 
rain, wind, and thunder had said to him. 

Rawick noted other abilities. "He could hear a sermon, political 
speech, or lecture of any kind, and quote it word for word . . . An 
other thing Tom could do was feel a piece of cloth and tell the color, 
or smell a house, and tell what was in it/ 7 

Tom became an acclaimed composer and pianist, performing 
throughout America and Europe. 

In dreams, James Thomas receives ideas of what he might 
sculpture in clay. Dreams bring solutions to art problems, as well. 
He needed teeth for his clay figures: he dreamed of using corn. It 

212 Company of Prophets 

proved to be a good material, 

James 7 uncle, Joe, showed him how to work with clay; and as 
early as six years old r he was selling his sculptures around the neigh 
borhood. He bought school supplies, which his family could not af 
ford, with the money earned from his clay squirrels, mules, and rab 

James Thomas' sculpture has been exhibited at the Mississippi 
Historical Museum, in national folk art exhibits, and at folk art 
events around the United States. 

He is also a blues guitarist. One of the last Mississippi Delta 
bluesmen of the old tradition. "I was always around music, because 
my grandfather played, and also my uncle/ 7 James explains. 

"My uncle taught me how to make a note on the guitar. That 
was all. From then, I played by ear/ 7 He sings, and composes music 
for the guitar. Sometimes, ideas for lyrics come through dreams. 

From cloud formations, and ice, he has spontaneously seen the 
future. "There would be an array of big clouds; you know how the 
clouds boil up. In them, I can see the future of people coming. I don't 
tell about it, I just bear out that it is true. 

"When I was flying out of Oslo, I could see the future on that 
ice. You can't look at it too long, unless you have shades, because the 
sun hurts your eyes/ 7 

Born in October, 1926 in Yazoo County, James has lived in Mis 
sissippi all his life. But as a musician and artist he travels over the 
United States, and goes on tours to Europe. 

"I've done logging, caterpillar driving, tractor driving, digging 
graves, hauling furniture. I've had hard work. I've picked cotton. 77 
But James emphasizes, "On the weekend, after all that work, that 
still didn't stop me from going on with my music on Saturday 
night/ 7 

"One night in New York, a big black fellow over six feet tall 
with muscles just felt like beating someone up. He pushed me in the 
face. I was rolling with the punches. Blood was all over. 

"The next morning, I could not see that this had happened to 
me because there was not one mark. The funny thing is I saw that big 
black fist coming toward my face, but I couldn't feel anything. It 

Diversities of Gifts 213 

never landed. What was he hitting? It was as if I had a shield. An in 
visible shield between my face and that fist. There was an invisible 
something taking the blows but not my face!" 

It is with other incidents like this that Pasadena resident Rich 
mond Barthe begins his account of some of the miracles from his life 
time. An octogenarian, the famed sculptor speaks of a spiritual pres 
ence that acts as his guardian. 

"I think my Guardian Angel takes care of me/ 7 he explains. "It 
gives you a sense of security to know you are not alone, but taken 
care of. I was once in New York, and I had to pick up photographs. I 
was rushing along the side of a building. 

"Suddenly I felt a tug, and a voice said, 'Come away from the 
wall! 7 

"So I pulled away from the wall, and there was an explosion. A 
potted plant had fallen. I looked up and a man was looking down 
from the fifth floor window to see if it had hit anyone. I was just 
pulled out of the way in time! There was no one on the sidewalk but 

"Another time I went to get on a train to New York. A voice said 
(there was no one there), 'Don't get on the train! 7 

"Usually I listen, but this time I tried to argue. I said, T don't 
want to spend the night in Chicago! 7 

"The voice said, 'Don't get on the train! ' 

"So I said okay. I called a hotel, went there, got in bed, and 
stayed there until 4:00 the next day. When I got on the train this time, 
the voice didn't tell me not to get on. 

"We were at Dunkirk, Ohio when the porter said to me, 'In a 
couple of minutes, we'll be coming to the wreckage/ 

"I said, 'What wreckage? 7 

"He said, 'Yesterday's train.' 

"I looked down in the valley. There was the wrecked train I was 
told not to get on. I was trembling so I had to sit down." 

Earlier in Barthe's life, his brother, confused over Barthe's mys 
tical perspectives, had him committed for a seven-month period in a 
New York mental hospital It was there Barthe experienced what he 
associates with the "loaves and fishes," the New Testament account 
of Jesus of Nazareth feeding the multitudes with a loaf of bread and 
a few fish. 

"There were boys in the hospital. No one came to see them 
or brought them anything. I had various friends who would send 

214 Company of Prophets 

me cartons of Lucky Strikes, and also my brother would bring them 

"Those kids all smoked! They were young teenagers. AU day 
long, until we went to bed, I was issuing out cigarettes to those boys. 

"One day my brother called to say he couldn't come down 
the next day to bring the cigarettes. The next day I woke up and I 
had one package left. It would be enough for me, but not for them. 
So I thought, the only thing to do is to give them out as long as they 

"That day, the boys and I smoked as many as we did any other 
day. The next day my brother came with more cigarettes. The pack 
age of the day before still had three cigarettes left in it. Where did the 
cigarettes come from? I'm sure that wouldn't have happened if I re 
fused to give them away. There was no bottom to that package, be 
cause I was giving them to others. 

"When I looked at that, I said, 'Now I understand the loaves 
and fishes!' That's what happened/' 

He alludes to the miracle of his monetary support. "Why 
should I save up for rain or sickness? Our Father supplies me with all 
I need. All I have to do is go into my bedroom, sit down and meditate 
and ask for it. I come out of the room, knowing that has been taken 
care of, and I don't have to worry about that anymore! 

"Sometimes it's material things I ask for, like money. I let go of 
my problem. I don't worry about it never worry! Several days 
later, I go to the mailbox, and there's money I need from someone I 
never heard of. They claim they saw my picture in a paper or maga 
zine and they were sending me a gift! 

"I think those are my miracles. This has been going on all my 
life/' Barthe reflects. I'm in my eighties and never have had to bother 
about a nickel! 

"I went to Jamaica for two weeks and stayed for twenty years/' 
he smiles. "I left Jamaica when it got too civilized. 

"I was out of the United States thirty years altogether. I left Ja 
maica, and went to Switzerland. I stayed there from November until 
the following April. Then I went down to Florence and stayed there 
until I came here. 

"The time I spent in Jamaica was one of the most wonderful 
things that happened to me because I got close to nature. I began to 
understand nature. People say it is amazing that I can communicate 
with animals, insects, and birds, and things like that. I think it would 

Diversities of Gifts 


be amazing if I couldn't. 

"When you stop to think, that little body is made of matter from 
the earth so is mine! Now the only spirit that there is there is only 
one Spirit, and we call that Spirit God now if those growing things, 
animals, flowers, trees, did not have the Spirit in them, they would 
be dead. Any person without that Spirit is dead, too. 

"If our bodies are made of the same matter, and the Spirit inside 
of us is of the same Spirit wouldn't it be amazing if we could not 

"I have had a good life, a very exciting one/ 7 Barthe comments. 
"In looking over my life, if I had a chance to relive it, I would choose 
everything that happened including the bad things!" 

"She was a woman of strong character and unusual intelli 
gence/' 4 So said Booker T. Washington, in his biography of 
Frederick Douglass, about Douglass 7 maternal grandmother, Betsey 

"There were many things she could do uncommonly well, such 
as gardening, and her good luck at fishing was proverbial. 

"She was also famed as a fortune-teller and as such was sought 
far and wide by all classes of people." 

Will Johnson predicted the weather by looking at the sky and 
making up his mind. Called "Weather Prophet" by a reporter from 
Ebony in September, 1947, Johnson had a rate of error in prediction 
which ranged from once a month to once every ten days. 

At the time he was interviewed, the Georgia resident, sixty-two 
years of age, had been giving daily forecasts on his radio program 
for two years to a loyal audience, predominantly farmers. 

Blanche Collins picks up people's thoughts. Her youngest 
daughter, when a toddler, made her realize that. She wouldn't talk, 
but chose to persevere in silence until her mother read her mind. 

216 Company of Prophets 

"I read vibrations. People automatically feel better when they 
come to me. I am a trouble-shooter. If something is wrong, I bring it 
up. Sometimes I write or just talk to the person. The Lord will break 
down my language so I can talk to a professor or to a moron/ 7 

As she detects confusions of energy around an individual, she 
identifies the discord, thus allowing the process of healing to start. 
While doing readings, she writes down thoughts received from the 
person's vibrations. She may have the individual meditate on "The 
Lord's Prayer/' or she may read from the Bible. She uses spiritual 
counseling, dream interpretation, automatic writing, and psycho- 
metry in her work. The method varies in accordance with the indi 
vidual's personality. 

Claiming no special powers of her own, Blanche explains, "It's 
God's work. God does it all. I do really feel we are all endowed by 
God with gifts/' 

Blanche comes from a strong Catholic background, having at 
tended Catholic schools. She relates a personal "baptism of spirit" 
between 1964 and 1967 during which she overcame the loss of a 
child and a broken marriage. "I learned lessons and wanted to show 
them to the people. I drove up and down the coast evangelizing in 
bars and grocery stores. 

"I learned my mind was a house, and I cleaned house. I forcibly 
pulled negative thoughts out of my mind and replaced them with 

"The day I gave myself to God, He gave me the peace and the 
power to do what I needed to do." She reflects, "I have been through 
difficult trials, trials I must pass to go higher" (in spirit). 

Blanche Slaughter Collins, born in Arizona, moved with her 
family to the San Francisco Bay area when she was ten years old. She 
is still a resident of that area, giving consultations and lectures. She 
has also been a guest on radio programs where she is introduced as a 
prophetess. "My gift of faith healing, teaching, and counseling are 
strong. I'm getting into lecturing now. 

"My purpose is to help teachers and leaders, who are now com 
ing to me." 

Blanche advises, "Clean up oneself. Don't look into other peo 
ple's negativism and complain about it. Get one's own mind clear." 

In looking back on her spiritual progression in this lifetime, 
Blanche asserts, "I see the most important thing was finding peace 
within myself." 

Diversities of Gifts 217 

Exiting from work one day in 1954, Wilda Mays, a long-time 
San Francisco Bay area resident, arrived at the elevator coinciden- 
tally with a middle-aged white man. He stood with the ease of one 
confident and familiar with the setting. But she could not recognize 
him as among her coworkers. Many early evenings after that, as she 
was leaving for home, he appeared. They were always the only ones 
waiting for the elevator. Others passed them, seeming to choose to 
leave by the stairs, not noticing. 

Neither physical speech nor physical gesture was ever ex 
changed. From the beginning his presence caused Wilda's problems 
to dissipate. 

Thoughts were transferred. He apprised her of the exact head 
lines of the next day's newspaper, of future events at work and 
home. These things then happened as he had indicated. 

Under his tutelage, she knew the truth of things beyond the 
scope of earth, things she had long forgotten. She reclaimed that 
which was her own from among these spiritual truths, and inte 
grated them into her being, and she felt a growing calm and integ 

In that year after they met, she began speaking in a learned way 
about metaphysical subjects of which she had never thought, or read 
about. She could also sense people's thoughts, their failings, and feel 
their pain. She became aware of her abilities to see through walls and 
go places without her body. 

With sudden insight, one day Wilda realized the man by the 
elevator had never been in a physical form at all, but was of spirit! It 
was revealed that he was an ascended Master who had chosen to 
work with her to revitalize her spirituality. 

Through her astral travels Wilda has become acquainted with 
other aware beings in varied parts of the world. She is especially 
aware of alliances with beings in Cairo and in Washington, and has 
been recognized as appearing by people who live there. 

"In 1968, three o'clock in the morning, July the fifth, the Spirit 
woke me up and said, 'Carve wood!' " 5 

21 g Company of Prophets 

Needing work and over seventy years old, Jesse Aaron had 
prayed that God might reveal a new trade to him. 

"I got up three o'clock in the morning, got me a box of oak wood 
and went to work on it. The next day or two I finished it." 

Aaron, born in 1887 in Lake City, Florida, was selected for a Vis 
ual Artists Fellowship in 1975 by the National Endowment for the 
Arts. His sculpture now has been presented widely in folk art exhib 
its. It is exhibited at the art gallery at the University of Florida in the 
town of Gainsville, where he made his home. 

He most often carved from cedar and cypress because those 
woods naturally suggested human and animal forms to him. 

Aaron once professed/'God put faces in the wood/' 

David Butler cuts and folds metal into flying elephants, lizards, 
fish, dogs, and trains, which he then paints. Biblical scenes are one of 
his sculpturing themes. His yard in Patterson, Louisiana is filled 
with his creations. 

"He says he usually receives his ideas fully formed in dreams/ 7 
write Jane Livingston and John Beardsley in Black Folk Art in America 
1930-1980. 6 

Born in 1898, Butler was in his forties when he began sculptur 

Kim McMillion says she was introduced to metaphysics by her 
father after his military stay in Korea. "My father came home a Bud 
dhist. I was about eight years old. He came home believing in rein 
carnation, and saying he wouldn't eat any meat. This was Texas, and 
everybody had steaks! He said we were going to meditate. This was 
also 1967; we couldn't talk about it to people!" 

"It was real important for him to find some kind of spiritual 
awakening. He was a Rosicrucian, and had been a Rosicrucian by 
then for a couple of years. And it was just so important for him to 
develop his soul. 

"When I was six years old, I was really afraid of death. I was 
scared that I was going to die and leave my family. And it was very 

Diversities of Gifts 219 

hard on me. After my father came back from Korea, he said: 

11 'You don't die. We don't call death, death anymore. It's 
merely transition. You don't die, one door closes and another one 
opens! When you are a little older, 111 explain reincarnation to you. 
Meanwhile, just believe that death doesn't happen to you! 7 " 

Kim recounts, "My worst experience was around eight years 
old. I remember going to bed at night, and all these people in white 
robes came. They said, 'We're taking you home, now.' And they 
would start taking me toward this planet. And I just started scream 
ing, 'I don't want to go!' They would say, 'This is home/ 

"My father always told me, 'If you get in a situation you don't 
understand, you just say, T'm a child of God, I'm a child of God!' So I 
started saying that and they disappeared, and they never came back 

Kim McMillion is the author of Voyages, a play about reincarna 
tion, which she produced and directed two times in the San Fran 
cisco Bay area. "I got interested in the whole writer role about the 
age of eleven. I told my mother I was going to become a famous 

"I mostly write about theatre and my experiences in theatre, 
and my experiences in human relationships. I love writing about re 
lationships. How people interact with each other. How they develop 
through those interactions. I love working with words. Not so much 
words, but the communication, the subtlety of communication that 
goes on. I guess that's why I decided to be a playwright. I think I'm 
good at language, and communicating at an easy flow. 

"I'm not a poet, but Voyages is mostly poetry. I never studied 
poetry. I wanted to write quickly what I felt, and so I wrote what I 
felt, and it came out like poetry. I also wrote about relationships be 
cause I find that from my past I'm feeling like I'm not part of any 
thing, but more an observer. I go toward relationships as an ob 
server. And I want to be loved. I think we are all searching for love." 

The playbill's synopsis describes the production. 

Voyages is a series of vignettes composed of poems, 
monologues, and dialogues on reincarnation, chronicling a 
soul's journey. The dancers and actors are the soul's past lives. 
A painter is on-stage during the entire show and through art 
documents their universe. Everything the characters have 
ever done in or out of the human form is being painted by him. 
The musicians give rhythm to this universe. The theme of re- 

220 Company of Prophets 

birth is being explored through the creative tools of mixed 
media, allowing the characters to go through their pain in or 
der to come out whole, through the rebirth process. 

"Basically a lot of what Voyages is, is my voyage. It is my voyage 
because it has things which can happen to anyone, which could hap 
pen to me. 

"I got real scared. I couldn't believe I did it. People came by af 
ter the show telling me how seeing the show changed their lives. 
One lady came to see the show every night. She was in a wheelchair. 
She said seeing the show for her was just like going to church/' 

A later project was Kim's writing of a screen play on Atlantis, 
whose main character is an "intergalactic space traveler" named 

"She heals different universes. She goes around with a pet lion 
called Eon. He can demateriaKze whenever he wants to. And he's a 
healer to the animal kingdom. 

"I was talking about Persephone, and she became so real that 
one night when I was writing about her, I fell asleep; and the next 
thing I knew I thought I was awake, but there was this lion in bed 
with me. He thought I was his best friend. He was curled up against 
me. I was sleeping in a loft. I don't know how I got in a loft! I got out 
of the loft and quickly got in the middle of the floor, wondering what 
to do about this lion. He seemed pretty safe. He seemed like a nice 
lion. I realized when I woke up that I had been concentrating so 
much on Persephone that I had materialized her pet lion in my 

"Persephone seems like she has always been around. She really 
cares about the universe and the world. She had a fall from Grace. 
She is not from this planet. When she first came down here, she was a 
vapor, and then she turned into a human being because of what she 
did. It's a real detailed screen play. She is the favorite of all my char 
acters. I feel really close to her." 

Writing a play about racial problems around a reincarnational 
theme is among Kim's plans. For this work, she describes a spiritual 
being who, over a succession of lifetimes, experiences life as an Afri 
can American, and then as a white person. Each lifetime having its 
own problems and pains related to racial issues. 

"A lot of my stuff comes in dreams. I use dreams, and I medi 
tate, and ask myself questions. I feel I have a high degree of intuition. 
Dreams help me a lot. I figure out things from dreams, and then I fig- 

Diversities of Gifts 221 

ure out things from my meditation. I ask myself a question about 
what is happening. 

"I have always felt metaphysics and my life kind of went hand 
in hand/' Kim pauses a moment, then continues. "What I want to 
educate people on is a sense of letting go. Such as letting go a sense of 
myself as stuck in little me, this body, this color, this person, towards 
more of a universal attitude towards life. More of a loving attitude 
which people should have towards themselves and the whole uni 
verse/ 7 

The Gift of Teaching 

"I looked to September each year when my students entered 
my classroom. I was able to discern many things about them. I 
would look into the eyes of each student. I could tell what their tal 
ents, interests and disabilities were/ 7 

Retired teacher Elizabeth Toles describes aspects of her psychic 
abilities which she applied to education. Having discerned the na 
ture of each student, she worked with them toward gaining compe 
tence and confidence in themselves. She assigned classwork on an 
individual basis according to what the student was capable of doing 
in that subject. 

"I taught the fourth grade/ 7 she relates. "I could tell what the 
problem was with a child. I helped other teachers in telling where a 
child had talent. The children in my classes all made high grades, so 
supervisors were sent to my classes to observe me. 

"I knew what the children were doing when I was out of the 
room, 77 she smiles. On these occasions, much to the students 7 cha 
grin, Elizabeth would return and designate what rules were broken 
and who were the offenders! Another of her techniques she shares: 
"I always told kids to pray before a test/ 7 

With this ability to be in psychic attunement with individuals 
and situations, enhancing her teaching mission, Elizabeth taught 
elementary school for more than thirty-two years. After retiring 
from teaching in 1975, she worked as a counselor for the Vocational 
Educational Department of the State of Tennessee. A majority of her 
work consisted of holding workshops for teachers. Her educational 
assistance later extended to colleges and universities. "I talked to 
students there and would help them discover what to major in." 
Among other local honors, her educational career culminated in her 
receiving the Outstanding Teacher of America award. 

222 Company of Prophets 

"I was raised by an aunt/' Elizabeth continues, "and later a 
stepmother. Finally my aunt realized there was something there dif 
ferent about me. In college I was conscious of using my gift all the 
time in school, but I wasn't aware of what it was. 

"I had a friend Thelma Green, who was a teacher. She encour 
aged me to use my gift openly while I was in college/' 

Elizabeth's services have not been limited to education alone. 
She has counseled individuals regarding their personal lives and 
businesses since 1945. She also is known as a prophet. 

Participating in educational and community projects as a vol 
unteer has been a high priority. She works with senior citizens. She 
helped organize a law-and-order club in South Memphis, and 
served as its first president. One of the club's activities was in pro 
viding anti-drug information and counseling. 

In 1969 she donated half of a commercial building to the city of 
Memphis to be used as a community service center in a South Mem 
phis neighborhood with a high crime rate. The center's programs 
have included a library, tutorial services, a junior police club, an of 
fice for the Youth Employment Service, a public assistance service 
program, and a sports program. 

Elizabeth Toles continues to live in Memphis, where she has 
been the recipient of several citations from the mayor. Governor 
Wallace of Alabama made her an Honorary Lieutenant Governor in 
1974 in recognition of her community contributions. 

As a child, Elizabeth lost her sight for several years. She be 
lieves she may have developed other senses to compensate for 
blindness, such as her psychic abilities. 

"I thank God for the gifts I have," she says. " And I am unable to 
explain how my God-given gifts work." 

Seriously ill, in her early thirties, Terrell decided to risk surgery 
rather than spend her life as an invalid. "I was lying in the bed of the 
private hospital . . . waiting to be taken to the operating room. I was 
praying fervently to live. I did not want to die. I promised God that if 
my life was spared I would devote it to the service of those who 
needed it most. Suddenly I felt a presence near my bed. I opened my 
eyes and literally saw the Saviour standing beside it, separated from 

Diversities of Gifts 223 

me only by a small table ... I looked at Him just as I would have 
looked at a human being. It seemed perfectly natural for Him to be 
standing there. He assured me that all would be well with me. He 
smiled at me as a father would smile at a child in the grip of a terrible 
fear whose terror he wished to dispel. From that moment I felt per 
fectly sure I would recover from the operation and get well/ 77 

In her 1940 autobiography, A Colored Woman in a White World, 
teacher and early civil rights leader, Mary Church Terrell wrote of 
being aware of the psychic constituent in her life. 

Terrell was born in 1863 in Memphis, Tennessee. She taught at 
Wilberforce University in Ohio between 1885 and 1887. In 1895, she 
was twice appointed to the Board of Education in Washington, D.C., 
probably the first African American woman to hold such a post. She 
taught in that district from 1887, serving a total of twelve years. 

She was active in the Women's Rights Movement, and the first 
president of the National Association of Colored Women, founded 
in 1886. She was an energetic supporter of the NAACP, helping to 
organize and participate in demonstrations and litigation for racial 
equality. What may be her greatest achievement was her leadership 
in desegregating Washington, D.C. restaurants, which occurred by 
court decision in 1953. 

"All my life I have been conscious of something within me 
which enables me to feel things which were coming to pass. At 
times, without knowing why, I have been very wretched, and after a 
while I would discover that something deleterious to my family or 
myself had occurred during that period. Once when I was a girl 
about thirteen years old I cried all day one Saturday without know 
ing why. No girl in town was gayer than I, as a rule. I ran and played 
and climbed trees and sang whenever I had a chance. On this par 
ticular Saturday I had intended to spend the afternoon with one of 
my friends. But I felt too unhappy to go anywhere. Some time after 
ward I learned that my dear mother had been in serious trouble and 
had been treated very badly that day/ 7 

A talented artist, George Washington Carver gave up his art ca 
reer to follow his destiny becoming a teacher to his race. 

"In St. John, the eighth chapter and 32nd verse, we have this re- 

224 Company of Prophets 

markable statement: 'And ye shall know the truth and the truth shall 
make you free/ 

"Were I permitted to paraphrase it/' Carver added, "I would 
put it thus; And you shall know science and science shall set you 
free, because science is truth 

"We get closer to God as we get more intimately and under- 
standingly acquainted with the things He has created. I know of 
nothing more inspiring than that of making discoveries for one's 
self/ /8 

From Gary Kremer's book, George Washington Carver: In His 
Own Words, come further extracts from Carver's writings which illu 
minate the philosophical principles which Carver used in teaching. 

The study of nature is not only entertaining but instruc 
tive and the only true method that leads up to the develop 
ment of a creative mind and a clear understanding of the great 
natural principles which surround every branch of business 
in which we may engage. Aside from this it encourages inves 
tigation, stimulates and develops originality in a way that 
helps the student to find himself more quickly and accurately 
than any plan yet worked out . . . 

More and more, as we come closer and closer in touch 
with nature and its teachings are we able to see the Divine and 
are therefore fitted to interpret correctly the various lan 
guages spoken by all forms of nature about us Nature inits 
varied forms are the little windows through which God per 
mits me to commune with Him, and to see much of His glory, 
majesty, and power by simply lifting the curtain and looking 

Director of Agriculture and an instructor, Carver taught at Tus- 
kegee Institute in Alabama. Born towards the end of the Civil War, 
in Diamond Grove, Missouri, Carver was never certain about his 
birthdate, but estimated it about 1864. 

Carver taught, "To those who have as yet not learned the secret 
of true happiness, which is the joy of coming into the closest relation 
ship with the Maker and Preserver of all things: begin now to study 
the little things in your own door yard, going from the known to the 
nearest related unknown, for indeed each new truth brings one 
nearer to God/ 7 

Diversities of Gifts 225 

"I want to teach people how to help themselves, and to train 
people to use spiritual power/' Mother Neal in this way describes 
her motivation. "I believe each and every man has to develop his 
own potential/' 

Mother Neal reads mind images, picking up vibrations 
through personal contact or letters. "Sometimes I get symbols, inner 
visions of fish, flowers. Sometimes I hear. When I open up my con 
sciousness, I get whatever is there for that person. 

"I don't see that much, but hear/' She explains, "My greatest 
development is listening to the small voice which is 95% right/ 7 

Mother Neal was born in Quitman, Georgia in August, 1911. 
The fourth of thirteen children of a minister, both he and her mother 
encouraged their young to assert themselves. They taught them God 
was not at a distance but was within each one of them. "I was raised 
in the Holiness Church. I studied and searched, myself. I was not 
born with powers. I learned from Mother Miller. I joined her Temple 
in 1944. She taught me how to call out with water. How to work with 

Now a resident of Miami, Mother Neal declares, "A person has 
to develop the knowledge that God is not behind one, He's with you. 
The greatest thing is for man to find God." 

"We have a way of attributing our failures to outside influences 
and forces. We cannot ever make another human being responsible 
for our own happiness. The fact of the matter is that we are the ones, 
the only ones, who can make ourselves a success or failure," teaches 
Henry Rucker. "We create our own reality," is his definitive 

Using metaphysical principles about changing attitudes, he in 
structs students and workshop participants on handling negative 
emotions and building on personal creativity. 

Henry, a healer, palmist, and clairvoyant, has been aware of his 
psychic abilities since childhood. He lectures at colleges, organiza 
tions, and conventions throughout the United States, and he travels 
abroad in his work. 

The Psychic Research Foundation was set up by him in Chicago 
in 1969. Henry's goal in establishing his Chicago foundation is a 

226 Company of Prophets 

broad one: "to bridge the gap between metaphysics, science, and re 

"Music vibrates on all the chakras, turns thoughts inward/' 

Singing is the special tool of Ella Eaton. It allows the Universal 
Spirit to flow through her, assisting in healing individuals and 
groups, and in restoring harmony. "Singing goes into the heart of 
each person/' 

A soprano with the New York Metropolitan Opera Company 
for twelve years, Ella left in 1975 to devote herself fully to meta 
physical counseling and teaching. Her work as a healer began ear 
lier, in the 1960s. Her initial interest in metaphysics came from try 
ing to help her daughter overcome problems with learning disabili 

Methods she uses to raise consciousness in her teaching, coun 
seling, and healing: meditation, prayer, visualization, techniques of 
breathing, and laying-on-of-hands. 

A North Carolina native, Ella lives in New York City. She is an 
ordained minister in metaphysics, and a Reiki healer. Reiki is an an 
cient system of healing touch in which the healer directs energy to 
ward a person to promote physical, mental, and spiritual well- 

She works with hospice programs at local hospitals. At the 
Hospice Center at St. Luke's Hospital in New York, she served as di 

"I try to open myself to be free of judgment," she concludes. "I 
consider myself a channel for communication about love for all. I 
provide myself as a channel so the one Universal Spirit can work 
through me." 

"The goal in life is to find God." These words changed Allen 
Young's life. They were spoken one day in a seminary class discus 
sion by his teacher, Howard Thurman. "There is no need for books, 
seminary, or anything but the search," Thurman had said. 

"Not that I didn't know that, but those simple words were 

Diversities of Gifts 227 

enough for me to drop out of seminary/' Allen explains. By the time 
Allen was twenty-nine years old, he had a degree in math and engi 
neering, and a doctorate in education. 

Fully world-minded, he was immersed in two business ven 
tures, a greeting card firm and a consultancy business. He was asso 
ciate dean in the business school at a State University campus and 
was also running for office in the city government. And he was mar 

All these things suddenly fell apart at the same time! 

"Everything that I had been attached to, that I identified myself 
with, just went for a big turn. If it had only been one or two, that 
wouldn't have been enough. Because it was so many things, I just 
thought, 'Something in my life is not right, I don't know what it is, 
but I have got to find an answer. This many things don't go wrong 
without a reason/ 

"My first goal was to learn to understand people, so I would 
come to understand myself." The process of self-discovery began. 
After a psychic reading, he took meditation classes. Then for a year, 
Allen studied with a psychic organization. This led him to religion, 
and to seminary. He was there twelve months before he left, in 
spired by Howard Thurman's statement. 

"Then I started pursuing Jungian psychology ... I did dream 
work. That really put me in touch with the language of symbols/' 

Two years after his "downfall/ 7 Allen reached a turning point. 
He gives this description: 

"I had an experience in mid '77 of me really wanting to find the 
Truth. I had been asking that question so much that I had this lucid 
dream on it. I was awake, but drifting. This figure sort of curled 
around my body and said, 'Are you ready to follow your true spirit, 
your true guide? 7 

"I saw myself looking at my body (it was all like a dream!) and 
saying, 'Yes, I am ready to do this/ " 

He was then asked if he was ready to give up all that he had, 
including his lifestyle. "As soon as that was said, I did see in the 
mind's eye in the dream state everything that I had been attached 
to my car, my house, my education, my degrees, different people, 
and even the program of developing psychic ability." 

The final question presented to him: "Are you ready to cut the 

"The silver cord that connects you to the body, everything that I 

228 Company of Prophets 

read about it, said you don't do that except when you are dying ... I 
said, 'No!" he recalls clearly. 

Days after his experience Allen underwent change. "There was 
a tangible concrete shift ... I felt more awareness in my nervous sys 
tem to look at the difference between good and evil in the following 
of the spiritual realm versus my world and its values/ 7 

Some months after another vision in 1983, Allen became aware 
of a new ability. "I found I could create oracles in my mind without 
having to use physical devices. One of them was in sitting down, 
asking questions, and using imagery/ 7 

He affirms that his strongest ability is in the interpreting of 
mental imagery. One of his main interests is in teaching what mental 
imagery is, how to interpret and apply it for personal benefit and in 
business. He implements the principles about mental imagery into 
the business world. "Because of my business experience up to 1975, 
it seems I am definitely to apply (myself) to the business world . . . 
and to somehow blend spirit and matter together/ 7 

Born in Berkeley, California, Allen is co-founder of the 
Aquarian Institute which was created in the San Francisco Bay area 
during the years of 1978 and 1979. 

Summarizing the potential in his mental imagery techniques, 
Allen remarks, "Whatever there is to be known (people) can get it. 
For people who want it totally for materiality, it won't work. But if 
they want to find the Truth, they will receive the answer/ 7 

As a child, Queen Ann Prince told her family what was going to 
happen. She saw things she knew family members hadn't seen, and 
could feel things coming along. "I was born a seer/ 7 

"Shut your mouth! Shut this foolishness up! 77 was often the 
family response. 

"When I was fourteen, I got so mad at my mother because she 
always wanted to whip me. I said, 'You won't hit me anymore! 7 1 
went to the well to jump in. She said, 'Oh, no!' I have been on my 
own ever since," she says firmly. 

"I once went totally blind for three days. But that was uncover 
ing the spiritual. It was to wake me up from the material life to the 
spiritual line of life. 

Diversities of Gifts 229 

"My mother always rejected it because I think at that time she 
did not understand it. Then when I got to be thirty-five years old I 
said, 'Mother, one day you will appreciate me before you leave this 
life/ Then she began to understand and give me credit for my see 

Born in Martin, South Carolina in 1916, the oldest of thirteen 
children, Queen Ann moved to Boston in 1944 to begin her studies in 
Spiritualism, metaphysics, and occultism. "I had a rough time get 
ting established because all my family turned against me the idea 
of being a Spiritualist minister, and a spiritual leader/ 7 

Queen Ann has premonitions, and describes a psychic aware 
ness and discernment. "I read directly from the mind. Mine comes 
from within/ 7 

She works within the school system around Boston. She has a 
teaching permit as an outreach teacher. Directing children and 
young adults toward realizing the Truth within themselves is how 
she explains her commitment. "When you find yourself, you have 
nothing on earth to worry about. You will be rooted in God. You 
don't have to worry about anything/ 7 she proclaims. 

She is the founding Spiritualist minister of "Lily of the Valley/ 7 
a nondenominational church established in 1955 in Maiden, Massa 
chusetts where she is a resident. 

"That means all nations can come, anybody/ 7 

She lectures, gives readings, and teaches metaphysical and oc 
cult principles to individuals and groups. She performs healings 
and exorcisms. 

One of the exorcisms she describes as being among the worst 
matters to which she has ever attended. "But when you know your 
self and what to do, you don't have to worry about what kind of dan 
ger is coming up, because you are rooted and grounded/ 7 

Her spiritual gifts helped her "learn to love the world/ 7 and 
taught her to accomplish widely through their use. She loves doing 
spiritual work. "I am a happy soul in my life/ 7 Queen Ann claims. 
"Your life has to be balanced. The material has to have its food, and 
the spiritual has to have its food/ 7 

230 Company of Prophets 

"I try to motivate people to realize that whatever they need is 
internal. You must come from the inside and then go out. Most peo 
ple, I say, are outside all the time. I try to help them get inside. Every 
thing you need is inside of you. That is my master goal, to help peo 
ple to have their own personal realization of that, and to be aware of 
how we are spiritual/ 7 

These are goals which Delilah Grayer has for students attend 
ing her workshops on intuitive perception. She blends clinical psy 
chology with non-traditional techniques. 

More than fifteen years ago, Delilah was given the name 
"Soyini" (which means "greatly endowed") by a priest who teaches 
African philosophy. 

Soyini knew of her psychic attributes in childhood and used 
them, encouraged by her family which strongly acknowledges in- 
tuitivity. Her daughter, Bakara Oni, whose name in Yoruba means 
"of noble promise, born at a special place and in a special time/ 7 
shares in the endowment. 

From an informational pamphlet of her "Celebrating Yourself 77 
workshop series, Delilah's approach is further amplified. 

In her practice, Soyini considers the pluralistic nature of 
interpersonal behaviors, looking at the physical, psychologi 
cal, social and spiritual aspects, culminating them into a holis 
tic therapeutic approach. Soyini utilizes palmistry, basic as 
trology, and numerology in her counseling and consulting. 

In one of her workshops, titled "Back to Our Roots, 77 partici 
pants are taught to use traditional African healing rituals in the 
treatment of modern-day mental health problems. 

Delilah, a resident of Cleveland, Ohio has a Masters degree in 
clinical psychology, and has completed doctoral coursework in that 
discipline. An independent consultant, she also works with stock 
brokerage and business firms. 

"People must learn to shift their perception, 77 she teaches. "It 
took me years to understand the phrase 'everything works together 
for the good. 7 It only works for the good if you see it as good no 
matter what your experience is. If it is negative, you have to reverse 
it, shift your perception and make something positive out of it. So I 
have people shift their perceptions. That is what I do." 

Diversities of Gifts 231 

"When I was 10 years old, I got up one night to go to the bath 
room. When I returned, my father, who had died a year earlier, was 
standing in the door! 

"I had no one to talk to about this experience. I could feel 
things I had clairsentience. I gave people warnings about things. 
But I couldn't talk with my mother. She didn't understand, and my 
uncle was a Methodist minister, so my abilities then were not recog 

When Eleanor Walker studied metaphysics in adulthood, and 
came upon the concept of free will, it liberated her. She made imme 
diate changes in her life. She could then acknowledge her psychic 
gifts. "I was a visionary, clairvoyant, and then became clairaudient. 
We are all here to grow. Each person comes with an opportunity to 
work out his karma/ 7 

A certified metaphysical teacher, Eleanor holds church services 
in her home in Washington, D.C. "Man has to know himself, who he 
is and why he is. The thing is, not to become obsessed by material 
things. My purpose is to teach and serve in whatever way I can. 
My students all learn to help people to become aware of beauty 
within. I teach that as children of God we are all one/' Her students 
come from varied religious backgrounds, and after training, return 
to their own congregations to share. Her courses include the study 
of telepathy, vibrations, and how to heal through energy adjust 

"Mankind is not really aware of what it is and what it has to 
offer. Few realize that God is not up in the sky but within. Every 
thing lies within oneself. You don't seek it outside of oneself. 

"Mankind," she emphasizes, "has to realize what Jesus died for 
is to show us the way. Mankind needs to dwell on life the way it is 
now, and not life way back there." 

Eleanor is a native of Washington, D.C. Both her husband and 
son have psychic abilities. "This is the Spiritual Age," Eleanor states. 
"Some people don't believe it, but this is the time for people to get 
into awareness of their spiritual selves." 

232 Company of Prophets 

Being able to materialize physical-world events, and effect so- 
lidif ications and conditions from consciously created pictures in her 
mind are abilities Beverly Moore has had since childhood. "But in 
childhood, I didn't know if I was creating it or if I was just foreseeing 
it. I am one with very much faith. When I ask God for something, I 
know without a shadow of a doubt that it is going to happen. 

"There is no lack in the Universe. I have problems like every 
body else, but I only give energy for it to work out for the highest 

Beverly is clear-hearing and clear-seeing, with abilities in crea 
tive visualization, automatic writing, and card-reading. A resident 
of Stamford, Connecticut, she teaches courses in psychic and spiri 
tual development through local adult education programs, and pro 
vides individual counseling. 

Beverly recalls her abrupt leaving of her family when she was 
17. She had only $25 when she left college in North Carolina to go to 
Atlantic City, and only $10 left after paying her bus fare. She knew 
with some certainty that she was going to get a job upon arrival it 
was an intuitive knowing. As the bus approached Atlantic City, she 
fell asleep. In dreamstate she saw a motel and the unclear image of a 
man. She saw he would give her work, a place to stay, and meals as 
well as wages. 

"About five minutes after I saw that vision, I awoke and pulled 
the bus cord for the bus to stop. Outside I had seen that same motel 
from my vision." The motel manager said his chamber maid had just 
quit. Would she be interested in taking over the job, with salary, 
board, and room? 

Beverly remarks that she has sometimes suppressed her clear- 
seeing ability, because of incidents relating to it. "After I suppress it, 
it takes time to get it back. I can see, but there for a time is kind of a 
fear there. 

"For example/' she reflects, "at two in the afternoon one day I 
was quiet not meditating, just quiet. Every time I closed my eyes I 
would see something. I saw a man. What I saw wasn't frightful, but 
there was a part of me that got upset. The man was close to me. He 
had a bald head and I could even see the wrinkles in his scalp! 

"I said: 'Ohh!' I wasn't asleep and I wasn't dreaming! I'd seen 
other things like that but he was a little too close! Most of the other 
real things had been at a distance, as if I'm looking through a tele 
scope. It's like a light, and it opens up and then the images are there. 

Diversities of Gifts 233 

It's just like I'm peeping through a peephole and I can see you on the 
other side in the flesh. That was fine with me, as long as it was at a 

"There was a time I was meditating, and I astroplaned. But I 
didn't do it voluntarily. I said to myself: 

" 'Dear heavenly Father, I'm not ready yet! 7 

"I could feel the altitude change. I could see so many beautiful 
things but I didn't want it. But I did want it!" 

Changing the subject, Beverly says, "I do past life regressions. I 
do know that in a past life I was very clear-seeing, and exactly what 
it is I haven't tried to find out. I do know for 17 years in a past life I 
was blind with the physical eyes, and that made me develop clear- 
seeing more. There is a block, a missing link for why in this life I'm 
having trouble accepting it. What I think it is, it just reminds me of 
when I was blind so part of me doesn't want clear-seeing." 

Asked how she implements her gifts, Beverly replies, "I teach. 
There seems to be a yearning or an urge to develop people's sensitiv 
ity." She tells her students they can handle their own problems, and 
proceeds to show them what to do. "It is not that you are born with a 
veil over the face or something like that; everyone has a gift. I like to 
bring it out." 

One of Beverly's projects is in teaching self-awareness to chil 
dren. Using a technique of meditation and breathing exercises, she 
teaches them self-attunement. "They find they can do it. It doesn't 
take days. They can do it the same day I show them." 

Recalling an experience with her husband, Beverly notes: 
"Over a period of a month and one-half, I felt something was wrong. 
I knew somebody was going to pass. Somebody close to me. I 
thought it was maybe someone in North Carolina. I did my auto 
matic writing my meditation. 

"Automatic writing said, 'Leave it alone! There is a meaning 
and a purpose! ' The automatic writing would not let me find out and 
now I'm glad. The information which comes through me is for my 
highest good. 

"I left it alone, and then about a week later, I began feeling 
really, really eerie. It was so strange. I felt the separation. I noticed 
even the children did. It was like my husband wasn't even here. 
It was like he was here in the physical, but he wasn't. There was 
a block between us. The feeling was like there was no need for us 
to be married. I started thinking about a divorce." Beverly's husband 

234 Company of Prophets 

died unexpectedly soon after from heart stoppage during a trache 

Earlier, Beverly had done a card-reading which revealed he 
was sick, that a physical problem was not being handled. The cards 
pointed to a separation, and a new beginning for him and her. She 
told him about it. For the first time, her husband listened to her and 
went to a doctor. "When he came back, it was like a new lifetime for 
us. It was beautiful. He was more loving. We had the best time. That 
one week was like a lifetime. I never saw him pray, but I knew he 
prayed and listened to me that day/ 7 Within a week, however, he 
authenticated the message Beverly received from the cards. 

To explain how she has used creative visualization in resolving 
conflicts, Beverly says, "No matter what they have said to me or 
done to me, I separate myself from the personality of Beverly Moore 
or ego. I lift myself to a higher state of consciousness, a more divine 
state of consciousness. I visualize I am looking back down on Earth, 
and I am sending them a lot of love. I see them hugging me and I am 
hugging them. 

"What happens is that the person either calls me, comes to my 
door, and sometimes I come to them. I don't worry. I just allow my 
self to be led. If I am led to do something, I do it. It doesn't matter 
who comes to who. When the meeting is there, you can tell that 
something divine has happened . . . When you want someone else to 
win, you are winning yourself. 

"Suppose a negative thought comes to my mind; I know how to 
strike it out . . . how to release negativity from my mind. I teach peo 
ple how to do that. It is part of loving yourself, you make sure you 
don't feed on that negativity. Whether it's a courtroom situation, a 
job send that love in. 

Beverly advises earnestly, "Love is the highest vibration. Visu 
alize love coming from the God sources, through the chakras, and 
loop it into that courtroom. I don't worry how it's done. It works 

'Til bring you up on the marquee!" This is the favorite expres 
sion Claude Perry uses to signal his intention to psychically read the 
individual before him. In this way the Livingston, New Jersey high 

Diversities of Gifts 235 

school guidance counselor and psychic receives information about 
another person's future or hidden troubles. Before his inner eye a 
marquee flashes with messages about people and events, and he 
reads from this psychic sign-board. 

Claude has a Master's degree in education and is working on a 
doctorate. His wife, Mable, also a guidance counselor, already has 
her doctorate in education. 

In his guidance counselor role he reads the high school stu 
dent's auras as he counsels them. "I can tell the student what's on 
his mind," he imparts. One student planning a technical career 
admitted with relief that he really wanted to go to college, after 
Claude told him of his inhibited desire. Claude has often prepared a 
student for a crisis which he foresaw for that student. His efforts are 
towards awakening the potential of each individual he counsels. "I 
pick up their auras, but I don't tell them I'm psychic. 

"As a child," Claude comments, "I would dream a lot and I 
would have understanding of my dreams. I would send telepathic 
messages to my mother." 

His auric sense arrived in a spontaneous manner. The electro 
magnetic energy fields surrounding people and objects, in varied 
colors, densities, and vibrations, suddenly became visible to him. 
Placing his hands on an object, he knows through vibrations the 
owner's concerns. 

Not until college did Claude give much credence to his abili 
ties. His gift of prediction was emerging. He predicted three years 
before it happened the resignation from the presidency by Richard 

During a trip to Japan he became interested in Buddhism. He 
has learned to appreciate the cultures of all people. One of his enjoy 
ments is reading the Psalms. He feels religiously attuned with the 
Biblical hero, David. 

Along with his gifts came the knowledge that he could not use 
them for lotteries, or any material gain for himself or others. "My gift 
is spiritual and may not be put to use that way," he stresses. 

"I think I extend myself to people on the basis I perceive their 
needs. I can reach to people and help them prepare for situations." 

Claude gives attention to getting the right nutrients into his 
body. "I can tell when my body needs certain vitamins. " He feels Af 
rican Americans should make greater effort to keep themselves 

236 Company of Prophets 

His advice to youngsters: "There is a whole big world out there. 
Get an armful of it! Get out there and contribute!" 

A group of discorporate spiritual beings, in accord with her, 
and availing themselves for Universal good, work with Latifu 
Munirah. Different ones share in the readings. They respond based 
on the specific knowledge needed. There is no single guide which 
consistently manifests to Latifu when she reads or teaches nor 
even when she requests direction for her own growth. Through her 
own voice that she hears in her head, and through her feelings, they 
communicate with her. 

"I don't really see them. I ask them to come and I know they are 
there/' she says. ''They are very gracious. Their personalities come 
out quite a bit when I start communicating and asking questions in 
my head when I do readings. They have a wonderful sense of hu 
mor. And it takes people off guard. They give jokes. And it's not that 
the guides aren't serious! 

"I'm not a trance medium. Fm totally in control. I will give mes 
sages but not yield my body." 

Latifu teaches psychic development in the San Francisco Bay 
area to individuals and groups. "I feel a large part of my calling is to 
be a teacher. And to teach a variety of things," she explains. "I taught 
social work for many years. I felt very comfortable with that. 

"I think 111 always teach and get involved in training, because I 
feel I'm doing something worthwhile when I work with people in 
assisting them in developing their own skills and encouraging them 
to expand themselves. I like being a catalyst for people/ 7 

After accepting a teaching position at Atlanta University, she 
lived in Atlanta, Georgia for three years. She went on to teach social 
work at the University of Iowa for two and a half years. She was also 
a graduate student there. She taught practice classes on racism and 
discrimination, and did academic advising. 

It was not until Latifu settled in the San Francisco Bay area that 
she took classes in psychic development. She studied at the 
Aquarian Institute for two years, and taught beginning classes there 
for a while before starting her own metaphysical study groups. "I'm 
coming out of a period where I've not wanted to be involved with 

Diversities of Gifts 237 

other people. Spirit has made it such that I have not been involved 
with other people, in terms of teaching. I have been going through 
some personal transformations. 

"I am preparing to teach again, and I also am preparing to 
learn. Now I've requested that Spirit send me a teacher, and I'm 
awaiting the teacher's arrival. I also said that I'm prepared to teach 
again, and so have scheduled a class in psychic development. 

"I just decided that it is important for me to go ahead and de 
velop, because I have a tendency to do more work on the psychic 
plane, through the use of the voice. Probably because I am a social 
worker by training, and it's part of that training I have." 

Latifu elaborates on types of psychic healing, explaining that 
there are two types. One has to do with the adjusting of the aura and 
laying on of hands. The other is mental or psychic healing which is 
done on a psychic plane without any movement of the hands. 

"Basically what I do centers around the gift of healing, and to 
some extent the gift of discerning, to a little precognition of what's 
going to happen. To me, discernment is getting at the truth of what's 
happening." Latifu reflects for a long moment. "I feel like I'm still at 
the beginning of all this, and there is so much more for me to learn. 
And I just opened myself up to that. "I'm really interested in what 
women have done," she proclaims. "I'm really serving as a catalyst 
for women to regain power over themselves and their own desti 
nies, not over others." 

Latifu revealed her own philosophy, "I will encourage my stu 
dents with everything I have to develop their own skills, and be de 
pendent upon themselves. And to have a healthy interdependency 
with other human beings. And to use relationships differently than 
perhaps they have before. 

"Because to me, when people are dependent upon other peo 
ple, and yield seniority, or yield their powers, there is no way on 
Earth they can fulfill their own potential." 

Laura Edwards was going through a troublesome time. Her 
four children were very young. Her grandmother admonished 
Laura on how she was relating to them. "You don't know these peo 
ple. They are people! Individually!" She then gave Laura a little 

238 Company of Prophets 

book on astrology. It was the older woman's intent that her great 
grandchildren be raised differently than most people, that her 
granddaughter know her children and herself on a deeper level. 

"In my family all my children are naturally spiritual beings. It 
was a unique experience learning from the children what being psy 
chic was all about, what being spiritual was all about/' 

Laura regards her grandmother as her true friend and teacher. 
She recalls being most impressed by her grandmother's capacity to 
love and forgive. When Laura sought to be instructed in those quali 
ties she was told, "You just do these things." Her grandmother's 
forte was in the Tarot cards which she used to make predictions. 

"My grandmother pushed a button in me, and I unfolded. I 
guess, like I was supposed to. Before that, there was nothing, except 
being fascinated by people. My awareness of being psychic was 
never there until my grandmother pushed that button! " That Laura 
was benefiting from the studies became evident, so her grand 
mother introduced her to cards and palmistry as well. 

"I developed my psychic self from those avenues. Things 
started to happen to me as I started to raise my consciousness to a 
different level. All of a sudden it wasn't just my children or my 
grandmother. They became different to me. I studied them with a 

A teacher of metaphysical and psychic subjects, Laura Ed 
wards has lived in Cleveland, Ohio all of her life, 

Laura moved into the study of meditation, metaphysics, and 
everything she could find of the positive aspects of the spiritual 
world. She studied philosophy, yoga, Eastern and Indian thought. "I 
was never in anything negative," she relates. "I've always had this 
intuition which would say to me, "This is not a good thing!' Over the 
years this intuition developed more and more as I became further in 
terested in God and people. 

"Someone would ask me, 'Have you heard of this?' And some 
thing within me would say, "Leave it alone!" 

Her perceptions awakened. Laura could now see auric pictures 
which had audible qualities. 

"It is strange to see a picture when you are looking at a person. I 
didn't have my eyes closed. It was never like that for me. I am look 
ing at you, and I can see something, and I am hearing something, 
and I am experiencing something else at the same time." It was in 
this manner, at first, that information and conditions of the future 

Diversities of Gifts 239 

came to Laura. 

Asked about the difficulties arising from practicing psychism 
as a service to the public, Laura concedes that for a while she with 
drew from her practice. "You can get caught up in the glamour of it. 
When I was in the public a lot, I found it was intimidating to my own 
spiritual growth. When you start looking at yourself as 'somebody' 
you've automatically lost yourself. You've just slammed a door in 
your own face. The pull on you is enormous. When you get out 
there, people start giving you attention. You feel wonderful. We are 
like children. Your pendulum will swing from loving it to running 
from it/ 7 

Laura teaches meditation as a way to find answers within the 
self. She helps people to tap their own potential of knowing, encour 
aging their consciousness of spirit to flow through them. "There is a 
stream that is constant between us as human beings/' she assures. 
"What we are dealing with is our search for this truth that unites us. I 
think we are looking for that connection on every level. I believe that 
the people who are involved in the spiritual world, for the most part, 
understand that oneness more, and are trying to do somethirtg 
about making everybody aware of it. We feel kinship. We are work 
ing on trying to overcome ourselves." 

"My purpose? Teaching, so that people can find their way. We 
are all here for a reason, and the reason for any lifetime is growth. If 
you don't grow, you rot!" 

So asserts Delores O'Bryant, director of the Uranian Agency, 
Center for New Age Sciences in Cleveland. The Uranian Agency is a 
holistic health and education establishment. 

"I have been aware all my life. In childhood, I heard voices, felt 
an intuitiveness, and there were feelings." 

Delores 7 profession was real estate, which she gave up to teach 
astrology and other metaphysical disciplines. In a pamphlet issued 
by Astro-Logic-ally Speaking, an Ohio metaphysical network of 
which Delores is the executive director, she writes: 

It seems to me that astrology and the ancient teachings 
are experiencing a renaissance. I would suggest, so as not to 
become caught up in chaotic, unrealistic conditions caused by 

240 Company of Prophets 

the ruthless tactics of those in authority, that we make use of 
our own personal, natural resources on a collective level. I 
would suggest that we choose not to participate in the nega 
tive. Choose to accept changes, offered now, in the way you 
relate to conditions and situations around you. Choose to be 
willing to be a part of the group through positive reinforce 
ment of our imaging faculties, and to gain control of and direct 
this illusion of which we have chosen to be a part. 

Since first studying astrology in 1969, she has written newspa 
per columns and has been featured on radio and television pro 
grams. From an outline of one of her talks given in 1984, Delores is 
described as coming "to realize that everything and everybody is 
part of one whole . . . And an idea or dream, which is a goal set for 
yourself, is also something which you have to do. You are supposed 
to do!" She emphasizes, "Once you are excited about something, 
you are getting in touch with your mission, and then every door 
opens to make that dream come true/ 7 

"My life's purpose? Teaching in all of its forms. I consider my 
self teaching through my storytelling and the artistic stuff that I do. 

"And then there is teaching through being. If you do work on 
yourself, you start to embody certain qualities. I often say when I see 
something that I view to be good, I say not only let me know it, but 
let me be it. Because we accept each other in several ways, as well as 
very clear-cut deliberate ways. "We need to keep going compassion 
ately, not in denial. It's not my nature to go hide on the mountain 
when there are things that need to be done on Earth, of a physical 
and material level." 

Luisah Teish of the San Francisco Bay area is author of the book 
Jambalaya. In her role as teacher-lecturer, she travels the country giv 
ing workshops and classes on African goddesses, feminist spiritual 
ity and shamanism. She has been doing this work since 1980. A 
friend of Luisah's attending the first workshop said to her, "Teish, 
you really think you're being generous by sitting here and giving us 
this information. Think about that sister in Mississippi who is sitting 
in her cabin and crying, depressed with no one to talk to. By not writ 
ing a book you're being stingy with her." 

"That made it real for me," Luisah says. "Suddenly I could see 

Diversities of Gifts 241 

that woman a thousand times over. I let myself agree that a book 
should be done and more widely distributed/' 

Luisah gained support from "sisters" who burned candles and 
sent her energy as she wrote. Once when she was stuck, she corre 
sponded with a woman who had sent her a letter from somewhere in 
the Northwest. The woman wrote her back, saying she had gone into 
meditation, during which a goddess appeared to her as a three- 
legged hen. She told the woman to send a message to Luisah that 
everything would be all right, that she would finish the book. 

"I think about that and start to recognize that the book is the 
product of a number of people. Not just me." Luisah credits, "She- 
Who-Whispers, Yemaya, and all the ancestors from Africa on 
through. They pumped the information into me. She-Who-Whis- 
pers brought me the inspiration, and the women of my community 
kept the motivation going." 

Luisah speaks of other assistance from another plane. "Shortly 
after we had an eclipse of the moon, I came into this house. The lights 
went out on the block for an hour, we had candles lit all over the 
house. I laid down and I got the message real clear of all of my ances 
tors sitting around a table. They were shuffling the papers of my des 
tiny. They were looking at the contract of my life. They were saying, 
'We have to make some amendments here and look at something 

"I don't know what areas they are talking about. But I do know 
on a spiritual level, me and my ancestors are renegotiating. Right 
now I feel eclipsed. I go from one day to the next. I don't know 
what's going to come on the next wave of vision. But I do know that 
if it is true to pattern, it will be hard work and exciting! 

"Almost every religion in the world tells us to listen to the still 
small voice/' Luisah relates. "But when that voice really starts to talk 
to you you cannot say that publicly. At times when I was working 
on that section (a story in Jambalaya entitled 'The Needy Winter') I 
could see the blue-suited psychologist standing by his desk saying, 
'We clearly have a case of disassociative personality!' 

"That's a problem because unfortunately psychology and psy 
chiatry forget that they are the grandchildren not the forebearers. 
They create a mode where the only time they have anything to say 
about hearing voices it's that someone is crazy. So it is projected 
that if you hear voices at all, you're sick. This instills fear. So that as 
soon as your guiding voice speaks you add fear to it and ruin it. 

242 Company of Prophets 

"I felt to say clearly to people, Tve been crazy, and have come 
out the other side, and it's wonderful over here!' " 

Conceding that sometimes her heightened perception makes 
day-to-day living somewhat difficult, Luisah still opts for the impor 
tance of gaining knowledge. "For me, ignorance is not bliss. Yes, it is 
painful sometimes to be so very tuned in to the pains of so many peo 
ple. But a reward is knowing that sometimes you can do something 
about it. The reward is that people's joy is also contagious. The big 
gest reward for me is that I am never bored. I don't know what bored 
feels like. I'm able to say that I love my life, and I know there was a 
time that I couldn't say that. I am infinitely richer because I'm will 
ing to be, open to be. I can find the joy in the very simple things. Like 
a lot of people, I like material things. But we get trapped into think 
ing we can only be happy if we are wearing Calvin Klein's. 

"We're beyond the age of tribalism," Luisah reminds us. "I am 
fortunate in that I can walk outside and look at the roses, and birds 
and children playing down the street and I can be really happy. I can 
really count myself fortunate, for the treasure is in recognizing inter 
connection with other people. Of not being blinded by overbearing 

Prior to founding the Crenshaw Metaphysics Institute in Los 
Angeles, Cora Keeton and Jessica Marshall studied together at a 
metaphysical university to earn their doctorates. "I met Jessica in 
1970 through my deceased husband," Cora recalls. "We shared 
similar interests and studied together at the university. Now, we 
meet to work together for each other and with other black psychics 
in the area." 

As far back as seven years old, Cora remembers her dreams 
came true, and that she saw disembodied souls. Information came to 
her before it was actualized in the physical world. "But I ran away 
from it," she says. Her mother opposed her gifts, but the real blow 
came while she was in her teens. A friend's boyfriend disapproved 
of her gifts so strongly she tried to shut them off. 

In her mid-twenties, Cora decided to understand her attributes 
through study, and to learn to use them as tools for the spiritual bet 
terment of herself and others. "I started reading professionally after 

Diversities of Gifts 243 

I got my doctorate. I had more certainty and structure. I asked guid 
ance from God. I started teaching classes to those wanting to de 
velop and also giving psychic treatments. I am better because of my 
psychic gifts. There is meaning in my life. I feel more fulfilled than 
ever before. Studying, and opening the Center have been very re 
warding/' She counsels, and teaches through psychic readings, 
metaphysical consultations, voodoo, past life regression therapy, 
exorcisms, and meditation. "I let people know they have control 
when they come to me/' 

Cora's deep interest lies in helping African Americans to de 
velop and use their intuition. "I do psychic work negatively called 
voodoo. I want to enlighten black people to use their psychic abili 
ties and to bring those abilities out of fear and superstition." Only 
five African Americans studied at the university when Cora at 
tended. There, she resolved to open a center in her community. 
"When I started in 1976, all my clientele was white now, it's 

Cora's associate, Jessica, aware at ten that she could predict, 
purposefully and confidently, directed mental energy to influence 
people's thoughts and to get her way. 

Her studies of metaphysics began in 1975, and in 1977 she re 
ceived her doctorate. 

She refers people to the Bible, not for religious doctrine, but 
for spiritual Truth. "Sharing a deeper meaning of the Truth in the 
Bible," and teaching people how to apply those Truths to everyday 
living are her goals. The Bible, meditation, the alchemy of herbs, can 
dles, oils, incense, and regular playing cards are some of the ways 
through which Jessica implements consultations and psychic heal 

Of her own directions, Jessica confides, "Being psychic lets me 
develop my life to make it more harmonious, peaceful and closer to 
God. To be one with, and be aware of my oneness with God. To be 
able to share the understanding and wisdom with all people. Re 
gardless of where or who we are we are all on the path to God. We 
sometimes need physical tools to remind us that our purpose is to 
serve God and humanity." 

Jessica evaluates, "I feel that I have helped people to under 
stand themselves better and how they fit into the universal scheme 
of life. That even though we are individuals, we are in this together. I 
have shared a lot with people. I intend to continue sharing my un- 

244 Company of Prophets 

derstanding of life with other people. Whenever someone comes 
with a personal problem, I let them know they need God with them. 
I use counseling to get them back into the Bible not for religious 
dogma, but for spiritual growth/ 7 

Jessica, born in Louisiana, raised in Oakland and Los Angeles, 
is a long-time Los Angeles resident. 

Cora and Jessica speak of growing together, and inspiring each 
other in their relationship, which goes back to 1970. They travel na 
tionwide to co-teach seminars. Since the last decade, they have 
brought African American psychics together to work on "directing 
light into the collective thought forms of the black community/ 7 

When I was a little boy, I gave a declamation as part of 
the "Children's Day" exercise of our Sunday school. When the 
program was over, "Old Lady Murray" came up to me, placed 
her hand on my head, looked down into my upturned face, 
and said: "Howard, God's spirit has surely touched you. You 
must ask Him not to pour more of His spirit upon you than 
you can manage/' 9 

This is a personal recollection from Howard Thurman's autobi 
ography, With Head and Heart. A writer of religious composition and 
poetry, he authored more than twenty books; a minister, philoso 
pher, and teacher, he educated about spirituality. 

Self-love is the kind of activity having as its purpose the 
maintenance and furtherance of one's own qualitative self- 
regard and is in essence the exercise of that which is spiritual. 
If we accept the basic proposition that all life is one, arising out 
of a common center God, all expressions of love are acts of 
God. 10 

It is the solitariness of life that makes it move with such 
ruggedness. All life is one, and yet life moves in such intimate 
circles of awful individuality. The power of life perhaps is its 
aloneness . . . Each soul must learn to stand up in its own right 
and live . . . Ultimately, I am alone, so vastly alone that in my 
aloneness is all the life of the universe. Stripped to the life lit 
eral substance of myself, there is nothing left but a naked soul, 
the irreducible ground of individual being, which becomes at 
once the quickening throb of God. At such moments of pro 
found awareness I seem to be all that there is in the world, and 

Diversities of Gifts 245 

all that there is in the world seems to be myself. 11 

But there is loneliness in another key. There is the loneli 
ness of the truth-seeker whose search swings him out beyond 
all frontiers and all boundaries until there bursts upon his 
view a fleeting moment of utter awareness and he knows be 
yond all doubt, all contradictions. . . . There is the loneliness of 
those who walk with God until the path takes them out be 
yond all creeds and all faiths and they know the wholeness of 
communion and the bliss of finally being understood. 12 

Providing perspective on Thurman's teachings, these are writ 
ings by him drawn from Luther E. Smith, Jr/s book, Howard Thur- 
man: The Mystic as a Prophet. Smith gives this interpretation of Thur 
man's theme: 

The individual personality has ultimate significance. 
The person is a "child of God/' and this status has no superior. 
The welfare of each member of God's creation is important to 
the welfare of the whole creation. Containing the imago del, the 
individual personality is able to express love throughout crea 
tion, and bring the universe to its proper state of harmony. 13 

Thurman's approach as a teacher and minister is conveyed in 
the Publisher's Preface to God and Human Freedom, edited by Henry 
James Young. "Howard Thurman's response to 'first-hand experi 
ence' was to share in the classroom, in the pulpit, and in print the 
oneness he felt with God and creation. His writing and speaking 
drew us beyond ourselves toward our divine possibilities/' 14 

Having earned a doctorate in theology, during his teaching ca 
reer Dr. Thurman taught at Morehouse and Spellman Colleges in 
Atlanta, also serving as religious advisor to students and faculty at 
both institutions. At Howard University in Washington, D.C. he 
was on the faculty for twelve years, and a professorship at Boston 
University followed. He retired from his academic career in 1965. 
Then his focus shifted to working within the Howard Thurman Edu 
cational Trust, a non-profit organization, with offices in San Fran 
cisco. Established in 1965, the activities of the Trust continue today 
and its purposes are described in With Head and Heart. 

The Trust was dedicated to the education of black youth 

in colleges all over the country, but primarily in the Deep 

South; it was also dedicated to the enrichment of the religious 

- and spiritual commitment of individuals who would be 

helped by the collection and classification of my written and 

246 Company of Prophets 

taped messages and materials that were the distilled essence 
of my spiritual discoveries what I had gleaned from the col- 
lative fruits of more than forty years. 15 

Melvin Watson, professor emeritus of philosophy and religion 
at Morehouse College, reflected about his former teacher in God and 
Human Freedom. "For Dr. Thurman, education was not considered to 
be a pouring-in process but a leading-out, the development of the in 
nate powers of the student's mind. He threw himself enthusiasti 
cally into this process/' 16 

In the same publication appear the comments of Benjamin 
Mays, former dean of Howard University, and former president of 
Morehouse College, on his former student's qualities as a teacher. 
"Many times he would spend hours with a single student engaging 
in the search for religious truths. Students became so overwhelmed 
with the intellectual genius and effective teaching style of Thurman 
that his popularity began to emerge at the national level. He at 
tracted students to Atlanta from all over the nation/' 17 

Author Luther E. Smith, Jr. reminisces about his association 
with Dr. Thurman, and shares some of his personal impressions 
about his teacher. "There was a freedom one felt in his presence. But 
Thurman was well aware that life had to be disciplined. And he 
could be funny at times. I resonated with what Thurman was say 
ing," Luther goes on in memory. "Thurman brought me to a legiti 
macy of my own path. He added depth to my path. My spiritual 
heritage was confirmed. My contact with Dr. Thurman provided 
depth and clarity to my spiritual development. This included fully 
embracing the rational and embracing the intuitive aspects. 

"There was something about Thurman's presence. It was not 
just in the way he spoke. Thurman created experience and it ele 
vated one. He opened a door. 

"You felt love in his presence," Luther explains. "He cared and 
you felt love/' 

Having received an invitation to be a visiting lecturer at a uni 
versity in Nigeria, in 1963, Thurman wrote of his anticipation in With 
Head and Heart: 

I longed to discover the sources of indigenous African 
religions, to explore the underground spiritual springs that 
ran deep, long before the coming of Islam or early Christian 
ity. I hoped to find a common ground between Christian relig 
ious experience and the religious experience in the back- 

Diversities of Gifts 247 

ground and in the heart of the African people. If such a com 
mon ground could be located and defined, it seemed to me 
that the finest insights of Christianity could be energized by 
the cumulative, boundless energy of hundreds of years of the 
brooding spirit of God as it expressed itself in many forms in 
the life of a great people. 

It seemed to me ... in Africa were still preserved perhaps 
the oldest religious memories of mankind. 18 

"We are in search. Everybody is in search, whether they know it 
or not/' These words of Alfred Ligon applied in his lifetime. In his 
own search, he was inspired by his reading of The Aquarian Gospel of 
Jesus The Christ, which communicated to him the idea of the coming 
of the Aquarian Age. In 1941, Ligon wound up his activities in Chi 
cago and New York, and headed to Los Angeles, where he started a 
bookstore called "The Aquarian Library and Bookshop/' 

Before long, lectures, forums, and workshops were being held 
on the premises. Leading local metaphysicians and occultists came 
to speak. Ligon and his wife, Bernice, lectured, conducted series of 
study groups, and held metaphysical events in the bookshop and in 
their home over the years. 

Regarding his own studies in metaphysics and occultism, 
Ligon said, "From 1936 to 1945, 1 was studying, preparing myself. I 
was interested in being an occultist and a doctor of metaphysics/' 

His astrological interest began in the 1930s when he read and 
took courses on the subject. "I was actually looking for answers in 
terms of my life/' 

Disappointment over being unable to establish himself in 
dance in the theatre started his personal search. "Prior to that time, I 
had followed, since I was a small child, the theatre. I was working in 
the dance field and the singing field in the theatre in Chicago for a 
number of years. A circuit went from New York, Chicago, Philadel 
phia, Detroit, and Kansas City. I was working with that. All black 
companies. When they put in the 'talkies/ they stopped the stage 

While in their early forties, the Ligons embarked upon a 
twenty-year occult philosophy course which they completed within 
the designated period of time. It was called a laboratory workshop, 
and was also known as the Sabaen Assembly. During the 1940s 

248 Company of Prophets 

when the Ligons started the course, founder and occult philosopher 
Marc Edmund Jones was offering it for the second twenty-year cy 

There were very few African Americans besides the Ligons 
participating in the metaphysical and occult programs the couple at 
tended or organized in the Los Angeles area in the ''early days/ 7 In 
1965, most of the Caucasians who were engaged in metaphysical 
studies or programs through the Aquarian Spiritual Center, an ex 
pansion of the Aquarian Library and bookshop, left because these 
were located in the general area of the Watts riots. "They wanted me 
to come with them, but I had a purpose here. Some of the work we 
endeavor to do is in helping people to establish the 'Beloved Com 
munity/ The Beloved Community is also the background of what 
we would define as the fellowship or the brotherhood of Aquarius 
where the group would get together and live in peace and harmony. 

"I continued with the work at the Center. I began to have small 
classes in astrology. I began to call the classes Studies in Black Gnos 
ticism. I can't tell you what motivated me to take that particular 
name/ 7 With the advent of Black Gnostic Studies, an interest in the 
bookstore and Center was sparked in the African American commu 
nity. "The young ones started coming into the bookstore. In our les 
sons we defined that the word 'black' was also used by the Sufis, the 
esoteric group which is related to Islam. They used the word 'black 7 
to mean 'wise'. They used it in that particular sense: if you are black, 
you are wise. That was the early part of the background we studied. 

"The witch doctors were actually highly evolved in their spiri 
tual orientation. They were clairvoyant or mediumistic. Albert 
Churchward (author of Arcana of Freemasonry) speaks of how at the 
time of one's death those witch doctors (masters) could see the en 
ergy coming out of the body in the form of what the body was. They 
knew that something existed outside the physical body. So they 
would try to make contact with those energies." 

The Aquarian Spiritual Center has become a national organiza 
tion with seven lodges located across the country. As printed in one 
of its publications, Studies in Black Gnosticism, The Aquarian Spiri 
tual Center offers aspirants knowledge from black gnosticism which 
is based upon the teachings of the Mystery Schools of ancient Egypt 
and Africa. Helping members to discover who they are, and the 
means by which to put this knowledge into practical application, are 
the ultimate goals of the Center. 

Diversities of Gifts 249 

From the archaeological findings and other records that 
have been passed down through the ages, we find proof that 
the human race began in Africa. Moreover, not only are the 
origins of humanity to be found in Africa, but the origins of 
religion and freemasonry are to be found there as well. This 
spiritual evolution of mankind out of Africa is based on three 
main points: 

1) A belief in the powers or spirit forces in the elements 
of nature: Earth, Air, Fire and Water. Recognizing that the 
continuation and health of human life was dependent upon 
these forces, the early Africans had greater fear and respect for 
the powers of nature than we have today . . . 

2) Psychic ability. It is well known that many early Afri 
cans had highly developed abilities in what we now call 
parapsychological powers (e.g., clairvoyance, clairaudience, 
and psychometry) . . . Because the early Africans had such 
good psychic communications between the visible and invis 
ible worlds, they developed a different attitude toward life 
and death than that which we have today. They realized that 
life and death are unending cycles. 

3) The existence of a Great Spirit in the Universe. The 
early Africans gave this Great Spirit no name for they de 
scribed it as the nameless, formless, unknowable, unseeable, 
untouchable indestructible force. It had no beginning or end 
ing and did not concern itself with the everyday problems and 
lives of humans. 19 

Born in Atlanta, Georgia in 1906, Alfred M. Ligon, a doctor of 
metaphysics, is a resident of Los Angeles. 

Dr. Ligon says that "In the field of work of what we have to do is 
to bring the soul of man out, and help him to utilize his soul energy 
instead of just being a physical person. We try to take the young ones 
and give the proper kind of training; not education, because that is 
already in them and has to be drawn out. But finding the soul that 
can relate to the work and be trained in that particular sense/' 

He pauses to encapsulate his thoughts. "We have to go forward 
and understand what those things were all about. We have to go for 
ward and prepare the younger generation for what we would define 
as the Aquarian Age/ 7 

A plane crash shifted the direction of James Moye's life in the 
early 1970s. A crash which left him two years in a wheelchair. 

250 Company of Prophets 

Before the accident his training and goals were in music. A pi 
anist, James had earned a Master's degree at the Juilliard School of 
Music in New York. " After being involved in the air crash, I resolved 
my musical career, and went on to further my works and studies in 
the spiritual realm/ 7 He was still very much in the world of music 
and theatrics after beginning his spiritual preparation. 

James perceives through voices, vibrations, and visions. "I was 
born with the gift. I was first aware of having abilities at an early 
age." Among his gifts from childhood are prophesy, telepathy, and 
healing through prayer. 

Several years before the air accident he went to Nigeria to 
become a Yoruba priest, one who ministers through ancient African 
religious traditions. "I came home for a short stay. I stayed home for 
about six months to prepare myself to go back to Nigeria, I went 
back with the intention of staying for only another two weeks, and 
I stayed for four years! " 

In that time he was initiated into the priesthood. In his training 
as a priest, the channels of communication with the realms of the 
Yoruba deities opened to James. He became mediator between the 
Yoruba divinity in the etheric world and humankind in the world of 
concrete realities. "In each ceremony, when the person takes the 
saints, he is given the Orisha, the saints in his head. Then he has 
given him a name which the Spirit of the Saint gives to him, in an in 
itiation ceremony/ 7 In his Yoruba initiation ceremony, James was 
given a name, which in the Nigerian language means "King of the 
Fountain of Knowledge and Youth/ 7 

A teacher and a priest, James interprets the ways of the African 
deities for Western minds unfamiliar with African spirituality, dis 
coursing on the spiritual powers and the divine wisdom of the Afri 
can Gods, the Orisha, describing their relationship with humankind. 
They come to the aid of humans, giving guidance in the adjusting 
and balancing of events as mortals progress toward fulfilling their 
individual destinies on Earth, and in gaining completely the under 
standing of their spiritual nature and divine origin. 

James is a priest of Shango Ife Divination. "Shango is repre 
sented by Santa Barbara. Santa Barbara is my ruling saint. Santa Bar 
bara is represented by the sword which represents thunder and 
lightning. The more powerful of the Orisha is Shango/ 7 

The identities, which the individual Orisha assumed upon 
their entry to the New World, correspond with those of various 

Diversities of Gifts 251 

Catholic saints. The major Orisha, including Shango, are: Oruna, 
Ogun, EUegua, Obatala, Yemaya and Oshun. Obatala is the father of 
the Gods. Ellegua is represented by Saint Martin de Pourres. 

A ceremonial sword was given to James in Nigeria. He has an 
obi stick which is a tribute to call the Orisha. " Any of the saints can 
heal, can cure, or they can run death. The positive and the negative. 
In working with the Orisha, many things are possible/ 7 he states. 

In his priestly duties, James performs rituals, ceremonies, does 
Ibos, and prays to the Orisha in behalf of humankind. "I go to the 
ocean, to Ibo, to Oshun and Yemaya, and take the sword to the 

He counsels with a variety of individuals. "Some people were 
involved in some very serious crimes, but it wasn't that I sat in judg 
ment. I prayed and asked the Spirit that a way would be opened that 
they would see their wrong-doing and would be given another op 
portunity to come to justice. And It did. 

"You have to be very much in tune to receive the warmth and 
the blessing that the Spirit has. The Spirit sees sometimes you need 
money, they give you money; they see you need knowledge, they 
give you knowledge. With the knowledge, you can always get the 
money. Sometimes you've got the money, and you don't know what 
you want. But most of the times, you have to give up, to get. Some 
times you have to suffer. When you do without, then sometimes, 
when the blessing comes, it comes in greater proportions/' 

Higher states of consciousness exist with more proof than most 
people have been allowed to believe, he explains. James enables stu 
dents to become aware of these spiritual realms. "My goal in life is to 
try to touch as many souls as I possibly can, to help them." 

He is often a guest lecturer at educational and cultural institu 
tions. He has been invited on numerous occasions to speak on the 
campus of Florida State University at Tallahassee. He lectures at the 
Museum of Natural History in New York, giving workshops and 

To give students insight on how divine intelligence touches 
upon lives, he provides them with personalized illustrations. "The 
Spirit gives, I have no way of knowing. The night before I went to a 
class, I went to the lake, and the Spirit brought the information from 
the lake." He was shown a young woman, her physical identity. "I 
saw where there was going to be an injury to the foot. I could see a 
piece of glass/' 

252 Company of Prophets 

The next day James talked to the gathering of students in Dr. 
N'aim Akbar's psychology class. In giving the student what had 
been revealed the previous night, he told her she was going to have 
trouble with her foot. She responded, "Not me, Dr. Moye!" 

"I said, 'You have to be very careful, young lady/ Three days 
after the class, the girl cut her foot with a piece of glass, and she had 
to get fifteen stitches/' She came to tell him of it. "I was profoundly 
shocked that she came. I said, 'That was prophesied for you! 7 She 
said she was getting out of the car and some glass cut the side of her 
shoe, it cut the shoe and her foot, and blood was all she could see/' 

He singled out a young man, revealing he knew the digestive 
problems that troubled the student's father. Then he spoke of the 
herbs that could help cure the condition. In speaking with a different 
student, he imparted she would be successful with her hands. He 
stresses to students to continue their education, and to search to 
know themselves as well. 

About his vocation, he explains, "I am an herbalist. I do plant 
some Ibo plants dealing with the Orisha, the spirit. The cactus is 
used for many things. It could be used for a court case, it could be 
used for a person having difficulty on the job, it could be used for a 
person having a deep cold in the chest which will not heal. It could 
be used for burns and sores that will not heal. 

"My Ibo ('offering') to the Spirit could be something very min 
ute, such as a handful of pecans. I have saved many people's jobs 
with pecans and coconuts by going to the ocean and praying to the 
Spirit to bless them, and scattering the rind of the coconut and the 

"I love to work with the herbs of Ellegua. He is the ruler. He is 
the ruler of the herb kingdom. He and Oshun. They give the plant, 
oche, which is Yoruba for 'power'. They give the sustenance of those 
things, all the good things Earth has to offer." 

James Moye, born in New Jersey, now lives in Tallahassee, Flor 
ida. From experiences in childhood and in attending a Holiness 
Church, and his further experiences among the Yoruba people in Ni 
geria, James makes his own evaluations. 

Of the Holiness Church he says, "Each person when they shout, 
they have a different shout. That means a different Spirit. Some hop, 
that is like the spirit of Shango. Some people go like mirenda (a 
dance); that is like the spirit of the sea, Yemaya. You have some peo 
ple who dance from side to side; that is like Oshun dances with the 

Diversities of Gifts 253 

skirt. They have the instruments, the drum, tambourine, the horn, 
string instruments, the organ and all that. The Spirit was really posi 
tive and a very strong force. 

"Many things were revealed to our minds in the midst of a serv 
ice. The way the Holiness people react was the way that the African 
people react. That is the closest religion to the Yoruba in Africa/ 7 

A soprano, Kathleen Carter at one time worked with Pearl 
Bailey, Nat King Cole, Dorothy Dandridge, and other entertainers as 
a background singer. She also had a singing career with the New 
York Metropolitan Opera Company. Now, as a psychic consultant 
and advisor, Kathleen works with artists like these. 

"A lot of people in the entertainment world come to me. Enter 
tainers are always in a contract, and they want to know where they 
are going with the manager and the contract. Whether the contract is 
proper, or not. That is true with those in the Metropolitan Opera. I 
work with some of the outstanding singers in the Met, and some of 
the great performers in the theatre. I have also worked with con 
gressmen. I have read across the board/ 7 

Kathleen, a New Yorker, born in Omaha, Nebraska, explains 
how she accomplished this transition from singer to psychic. "I 
stopped singing around 1970. By 1972 or 1973, 1 had gone into this 
work. I had been studying all that time and was doing this work 
around 1972, on a part-time basis, and by 1973 1 began doing it more 
full-time. It was actually 1974 that it was a full thrust/ 7 

Kathleen designs study programs for individuals on specific 
areas relating to psychic and spiritual growth. She makes referrals to 
organizations, such as holistic health services. Through classes she 
additionally instructs in the development of intuitivity and in the 
study of metaphysics. "My purpose is to guide, to direct. That is a 
combination of psychic readings and of getting some metaphysical 
principles out. I am a resource person. All these things I am about, 
and I feel it is my purpose to do/ 7 Kathleen counsels toward turning 
negative signs and conditions into positive ones. "When I predict, I 
have a tendency to say, 'Okay, I see this particular thing is off, but 
think positively about it. Let's try to stop it ward it off/ The mind is 
energetic. The mind can travel through the ether and ward off 

254 Company of Prophets 

things. There are some things which will come to pass, regardless. 
Other things can be warded off/ 7 

The information she receives comes directly from her super- 
consciousness, Kathleen confides. "There are three ways I get my 
messages: clairvoyantly, clairaudiently, and through impressions. 

"I might feel a certain thing, and feel it is coming. The majority 
of it is seeing through picture form and sound . I can hear music . I can 
hear cars. I can hear most of what anybody might hear in everyday 
life. A statement might come, clairaudiently. I might hear a person 
speaking in his own tone a certain way. Sometimes it is just my own 
mind hearing it. It is psychic and prophetic/' 

She shares her thoughts about the Aquarian Age. "I feel as we 
move more into the Aquarian Age, people are becoming more 
aware of what they can do. They are more sensitive to the intelli 
gence that is around us in the atmosphere, the inner world which is 
the spiritual plane. Hierarchy people or hierarchy beings are here to 
guide us, to guide mankind in a certain way. I feel we are more open 
to these energies as we move into the Aquarian Age. People are 
more open to psychic things, more so than ever before. And I say to 
young people, study all you can about nature and its laws in the 
metaphysical world/' 

Kathleen reflects, "I have black people, as well as all ethnic 
groups. I have a United Nations here! 

"Of course, my first concern is with black people. I have to say 
that. We as a people, at times, do not feel that we can attain in certain 
areas. I feel that I am able to peer into that and see sometimes where 
they cannot see. And I feel that I've done something wonderful 
when I've done that. And that's my concern with black folk. With 
other people, other ethnic groups I feel the same thing, but my first 
concern is with our people. 

"I am very much into our (African American) culture as a peo 
ple and what we have come from, in regards to this work/' Kathleen 
continues slowly. "We have come from very powerful things, from 
the Dogen in Africa who are the star watchers and who are very 

"Our people had old ancient societies that were equivalent to 
what we might want to call the Rosicrucians of today. 
Rosicrucianism is based on Mystery School teaching, which the 
Greeks call Greek philosophy. There is no such thing told us, as we 
know, if we read history/' Kathleen complains. "I am about educat- 

Diversities of Gifts 255 

ing our people to that, and letting them understand we come from 
something great. The scholars know this, and whites are very aware 
of this. 

"Our nature is spiritual. That is our basis. We are a healing 
group of people, and we can only do that from a spiritual point of 
view. Once we get back to our basic selves, we will begin to expand, 
by developing our intuition, and developing ourselves on a holistic 
basis: that is, eating properly, meditating, exercising, and positive 
mind-thinking. Once we understand, through studying these 
things, we can align ourselves with the laws of nature. That is what 
we came from. All of our religions were based on natural law. 

"We all have genetic memory," Kathleen concludes with em 
phasis. "Once the black man has tapped the genetic resource, he will 
be a god again, as he was in the beginning/ 7 

The influence of African religion which James Moye observed 
in his childhood church gives evidence to how spiritual legacy 
passes from ancestors to descendants. Kathleen Carter, Alfred 
Ligon, Luisah Teish, and Howard Thurman have similar percep 

By way of the slaves from Africa, as early as the 1600s, ancient 
religious and mystical beliefs, practices, and observances of Africa 
were carried to the New World. The spiritual heritage of African 
Americans is in this way founded in the Group Spirit of ancestors 
whose religious precepts predate Western ones. Some metaphysi 
cians see the roots of the planet's religions as beginning in Africa and 
India. African Americans thus reflect, to varying degrees in their be 
liefs and practices, the earliest religious and spiritual heritages of 
Earth's prerecorded history. 

The individuals presented in Company of Prophets: African 
American Psychics, Healers and Visionaries, of course, share in the 
blessings, in their very singular ways, of that ancient spiritual inheri 

Some day an Aquarian spiritual ecumenical will be created 
among African Americans. The gathering will exist outside of all 
earthly religions, exterior to groups holding to restrictive belief sys 
tems, and beyond bodily, socio-economic, and political orientations. 

256 Company of Prophets 

This African American spiritual interconnectiveness would materi 
alize for the purpose of building a reservoir of positive energy to 
clear away the suspended age-old negative energies of racial invali 
dation accumulated from the African American people's tragic his 
tory. The refocusing of positive energy, composed of the unified 
spiritual awareness of African Americans, would then thoroughly 
cleanse the hurt, the hostility, the hate and despair, and the wounds 
of minimization, dehumanization, and despiritualization. 

In that spirit-cleansing, the collective consciousness of Black 
America will be heightened and subsequently revitalized. And so 
will each individual spiritual being, who has chosen to incarnate as 
an African American, be rehabilitated, in that time of transforma 
tion, through the agency of group spirit and the positive mass con 
sciousness of the race. 

Bibliography, Notes, fc Credits 

Chapter One 

1. Ruth Montgomery, Threshold to Tomorrow (New York: A Fawcett 
Crest Book published by BaUantine Books, 1982), pp. 2, 181, 183, 185. 

2. Count Carnette, Psychic Piano Music from the Masters (Seattle, 
Washington: Carnette Archive Recordings, 1977). 

3. Zora Neale Hurston, Dust Tracks on a Road (New York: Arno Press 
and New York Times, 1969), pp. 56-60. 

4. Edmund L. Fuller, Visions in Stone (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: 
University of Pittsburgh Press, 1973), pp. 3, 6, 8, 12, 14, 20, 22, 24, 26. 

5. Gary R. Kremer, George Washington Carver: In His Own Words 
(Columbia, Missouri: University of Missouri Press, 1987), pp. 20, 

6. AUie Light and Irving Saraf, The Angel That Stands by Me (San 
Francisco: Light-Saraf Films, 1984), documentary film transcript. 

Chapter Two 

1. The National Colored Spiritualist Association, U.S.A., The 
National Spiritualist Reporter (Detroit, Michigan: April, 1984), Vol. 46, 
No. 738. 


258 Company of Prophets 

2. Ruth Montgomery, Threshold to Tomorrow (New York: A Fawcett 
Crest Book published by Ballantine Books, 1982), p. 185. 

3. Count Carnette, Psychic Piano Music from the Masters (Seattle, 
Washington: Carnette Archive Recordings, 1977). 

4. Emma Hardinge Britten, Modern American Spiritualism (New 
Hyde Park, New York: University Books, Inc., 1970), p. 205. 

5. Michael P. Smith, Spirit World: Pattern in the Expressive Folk Culture 
of Afro-American New Orleans (New Orleans: New Orleans Folklife 
Society, 1984), pp. 12, 13-16. 

6. Jean McMahon Humez, editor, Gifts of Power: The Writings of 
Rebecca Jackson, Black Visionary, Shaker Eldress (Amherst, Massachus- 
setts: University of Massachusetts Press, 1981), pp. 222, 241, 
254-255, 303. 

Chapter Three 

1. Master Yogi Thomas, Divine Light Meditation (Chicago: Divine 
Light Temple, 1986), pp. 9, 74, 77. 

2. Master Walter N. Thomas, Spiritual Meditation (Chicago: CFS 
Healing Temple, 1983), p. 17. 

3. Jean McMahon Humez, editor, Gifts of Power: The Writings of 
Rebecca Jackson, Black Visionary, Shaker Eldress (Amherst, Massachu 
setts: University of Massachusetts Press, 1981), pp. 72-73, 87-88, 
92-93, 96, 107-108, 128, 142, 144-145, 147, 174, 185-186. 

4. Edmund L. Fuller, Visions in Stone (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: 
University of Pittsburgh Press, 1973), pp. 3, 6, 8, 12, 14, 20, 22, 24, 26. 

5. Robert Bartlett Haas, editor, William Grant Still and the Fusion of 
Cultures in American Music (Los Angeles: Black Sparrow Press, 1972), 
pp. 107, 113, 118. 

6. Verna Arvey, In One Lifetime (Fayetteville, Arkansas: University of 

Bibliography, Notes, & Credits 259 

Arkansas Press, 1974), p. 181. 

7. Robert Bartlett Haas, editor, William Grant Still and the Fusion of 
Cultures in American Music (Los Angeles: Black Sparrow Press, 1972), 
p. 113. 

8. Verna Arvey, In One Lifetime (Fayetteville, Arkansas: University of 
Arkansas Press, 1974), pp. 72, 103. 

9. Sarah Bradford, Harriet Tubman: The Moses of Her People (New 
York: Corinth Books, Inc., 1961), pp. 23, 61, 83-87, 92-93. 

10. Darwin T. Turner, editor, The Wayward and the Seeking: A 
Collection of Writings by Jean Toomer (Washington, D.C.: Howard 
University Press, 1980), pp. 130-131. 

11. Jean Toomer, Exile into Being (The Yale Collection of American 
Literature, Beinecke Rare Books and Manuscript Library, Yale 

12. Jean Toomer, The Life and Death of Nathan Jean Toomer: An 
Autobiography (The James Weldon Johnson Collection, Beinecke 
Rare Books and Manuscript Library, Yale University). 

13. Cynthia Earl Kerman and Richard Eldridge, The Lives of Jean 
Toomer: A Hunger for Wholeness (Baton Rouge and London: 
Louisiana State University Press, 1987), pp. 154-155. 

14. Jean Toomer, Exile into Being (The Yale Collection of American 
Literature, Beinecke Rare Books and Manuscript Library, Yale 

15. Amanda Smith, An Autobiography, Amanda Smith (Chicago: 
Meyer & Brother, Publishers, 1893), pp. 42-43, 104, 107, 110-111, 132, 
133, 158-159, 174, 200, 308, 383, 429-430. 

16. Allie Light and Irving Saraf, The Angel That Stands by Me (San 
Francisco: Light-Saraf Films, 1984), documentary film transcript. 

17. Zilpha Elaw, Memoirs of the Life, Religious Experience, Ministerial 

260 Company of Prophets 

Travels and Labours of Mrs. Zilpha Elaw, an American Female of Colour: 
Together with Some Account of the Great Religious Revivals in America 
(London: Published by the author and sold by T. Dudley, 1846), pp. 
22, 23, 36, 39, 47, 55, 60, 73, 74. 

18. William Loren Katz, editor, Narrative of Sojourner Truth, a 
Bondswoman of Olden Time (New York: Arno Press and the New York 
Times, 1968), pp. 27, 64, 156-159. 

19. Toby Thompson, 'The Throne of the Third Heaven/' The 
Washington Post Magazine (Washington, D.C: Washington Post, 
August 9, 1981), p. 32. 

20. Jane Livingston and John Beardsley, Black Folk Art in America, 
1930-1980 (Jackson, Mississippi: University Press of Mississippi and 
Center for the Study of Southern Culture, published for Corcoran 
Gallery of Art, 1982), p. 44. 

21. Garland Anderson, From Newsboy and Bellhop to Playwright (San 
Francisco: Published by the author, 1925), pp. 11-13. 

22. Jane Livingston and John Beardsley, 'Black Folk Art in America, 
1930-1980 (Jackson, Mississippi: University Press of Mississippi and 
Center for the Study of Southern Culture, published for Corcoran 
Gallery of Art, 1982), pp. 47, 97. 

23. Sandi Donnelly, "The Red Light Came On," The Times-Picayune 
(New Orleans: The Times-Picayune, December 12, 1972), section 2, p. 


24. Howard Thurman, Meditations of the Heart (Richmond, Indiana: 
Friends United Press, 1979), p. 117. 

25. Howard Thurman, Disciplines of the Spirit (Richmond, Indiana: 
Friends Uruted Press, 1963), p. 96. 

26. Howard Thurman, The Inward Journey (New York: Harper & 
Brothers, 1961), p. 51. 

27. Howard Thurman, With Head and Heart (San Diego, New York, 

Bibliography, Notes, & Credits 261 

and London: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1979), p. 252. 

28. Howard Thurman, The Growing Edge (New York: Harper & 
Brothers, 1956), p. 75. 

29. Howard Thurman, The Inward Journey (New York: Harper & 
Brothers, 1961), pp. 51-52. 

30. Bert James Lowenberg and Ruth Bogin, Black Women in 
Nineteenth-Century American Life (University Park and London: The 
Pennsylvania State University Press, 1976), p. 130. 

31. Mary McLeod Bethune, "God Leads the Way, Mary/' The 
Christian Century (Chicago: Christian Century Foundation, July 23, 
1952), pp. 851-852. 

32. Glenn Clark, The Man Who Talks with the Flowers (St. Paul, 
Minnesota: Macalester Park Publishing Company, 1939), pp. 17, 18, 

33. Linda O. McMurry, George Washington Carver: Scientist and 
Symbol (New York: Oxford University Press, 1981), pp. 43, 179, 285, 

Chapter Four 

1. Ruth Montgomery, Threshold to Tomorrow (New York: A Fawcett 
Crest Book published by Ballantine Books, 1982), pp. 182-183, 186. 

Chapter Five 

1. Neil Irvin Painter, "Henry Adams/' Dictionary of American Negro 
Biography, edited by Rayford W. Logan and Michael R. Winston 
(New York and London: W. W. Norton & Co., 1982), p. 4. 

2. Jean McMahon Humez, editor, Gifts of Power: The Writings of 
Rebecca Jackson, Black Visionary, Shaker Eldress (Amherst, Massachus- 
setts: University of Massachusetts Press, 1981), pp. 89-90, 133-134, 

262 Company of Prophets 

163-164, 273. 

3. Michael P. Smith, Spirit World: Pattern in the Expressive Folk Culture 
of Afro-American New Orleans (New Orleans: New Orleans Folklife 
Society, 1984), pp. 12, 14, 15. 

4. William Ferris and Judy Peisner, Fannie Bell Chapman: Gospel 
Singer (Memphis, Tennessee: Center for Southern Folklore, 
Southern Culture Records, 1983). 

5. Bill Shaw, "Where the Needy Come To Be Healed with Faith," The 
Arizona Daily Star (Tuscon, Arizona: October 12, 1978). 

6. Amanda Smith, An Autobiography, Amanda Smith (Chicago: Meyer 
& Brother, Publishers, 1893), pp. 42-43, 99-101, 104-107, 110-111, 
132-134, 158-159, 174, 199-200, 308, 382, 429-430. 

7. Michael P. Smith, Spirit World: Pattern in the Expressive Folk Culture 
of Afro-American New Orleans (New Orleans: New Orleans Folklife 
Society, 1984), pp. 16. 

8. Paul Neimark, "The Incredible Pain Killer Psychic/' Sepia 
Magazine (Ft. Worth, Texas: March, 1976), pp. 72-79. 

9. Clara Phillips, "Psychic Sees Reincarnation as a Reality/ 7 Everett 
Herald (Everett, Washington: August 11, 1979), p. lOc. 

10. "World's Most Unusual Psychic Relieves Suffering/' Modern 
People (Franklin Park, Illinois: February 8, 1976), Vol. 8, No. 6. 

11. Brad Steiger, Psychic City: Chicago (Garden City, New York: 
Doubleday & Co., 1976), p. 85. 

12. Sandra Parlin, "Psychic with X-ray Eyes Astounds Doctors/' 
Globe (Boca Raton, Florida: Globe Communications, Inc., July 21, 

1981), Vol. 28, No. 29. 

Bibliography, Notes, & Credits 263 

Chapter Six 

1. " World's Most Unusual Psychic Relieves Suffering/' Modern 
People (Franklin Park, Illinois: February 8, 1976), Vol. 8., No. 6. 

2. Paul Neimark, "The Incredible Pain Killer Psychic/ 7 Sepia 
Magazine (Ft. Worth, Texas: March, 1976), pp. 72-79. 

Chapter Seven 

1. Luisah Teish, Jambalaya: The Natural Woman's Book of Personal 
Charms and Practical Rituals (San Francisco: Harper & Row, 
Publishers, Inc., 1985), pp. 8, 38, 39, 81, 82. 

2. Jean McMahon Huinez, editor, Gifts of Power: The Writings of 
Rebecca Jackson, Black Visionary, Shaker Eldress (Amherst, Massachus- 
setts: University of Massachusetts Press, 1981), pp. 111-112. 

3. Cynthia Earl Kerman and Richard Eldridge, The Lives of Jean 
Toomer: A Hunger for Wholeness (Baton Rouge and London: 
Louisiana State University Press, 1987), pp. 153-155. 

4. Jean Toomer, Exile into Being (The Yale Collection of American 
Literature, Beinecke Rare Books and Manuscript Library, Yale 

Chapter Eight 

1. Paschel B. Randolph, The Wonderful Story of Ravalette, also Tom 
Clark and His Wife (New York: Sinclair Tousey, 1863), pp. 83, 214. 

2. F. Roy Johnson, The Fabled Doctor Jim Jordan (Murfreesboro, North 
Carolina: Johnson Publishing Company, 1963). 

Chapter Nine 

1. Howard Thurman, With Head and Heart (San Diego, New York, 

264 Company of Prophets 

and London: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1979), p. 254. 

2. Luisah Teish, Jambalaya: The Natural Woman's Book of Personal 
Charms and Practical Rituals (San Francisco: Harper & Row, 
Publishers, Inc., 1985), pp. 8, 81. 

3. Lloyd Strayhorn, "Numbers & You/' the New York Amsterdam 
News (New York: Amsterdam News Publishing Company, 
September 18, 1982), p. 48. 

4. Sarah Bradford, Harriet Tubman: The Moses of Her People (New 
York: Corinth Books, Inc., 1961), p. 115. 

Chapter Ten 

1. Reverend C.C. White and Ada Morehead Holland, No Quittin' 
Sense (Austin, Texas: University of Texas Press, 1969), pp. 5, 134, 167, 

2. Jay Hall, "Calestine Williams: All in the Mind/' The Commercial 
Appeal Mid-South Magazine (Memphis, Tennessee: April 15, 1979), p. 

3. George Rawick, editor, The American Slave: A Composite 
Autobiography Vol. 3 (Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Publish 
ing Group, Inc., 1977), Series 1, Vol. 3. 

4. Booker T. Washington, Frederick Douglass (Philadelphia and 
London: G.W. Jacobs and Company, 1907). 

5. Jane Livingston and John Beardsley, Black Folk Art in America, 
1930-1 980 (Jackson, Mississippi: University Press of Mississippi and 
Center for the Study of Southern Culture, published for Corcoran 
Gallery of Art, 1982), p. 55. 

6. Ibid., pp. 65-66. 

7. Mary Church Terrell, A Colored Woman in a White World (New 
York: Arno Press, A New York Times Company, 1980), pp. 285-286. 

Bibliography, Notes, & Credits 265 

8. Gary R. Kremer, George Washington Carver: In His Own Words 
(Columbia, Missouri: University of Missouri Press, 1987), pp. 

9. Howard Thurman, With Head and Heart (San Diego, New York, 
and London: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1979), p. 265. 

10. Howard Thurman, Deep Is the Hunger (New York: Harper & 
Brothers, Publishers, 1951), p. 109. 

11. Ibid., pp. 169-170. 

12. Howard Thurman, The Inward Journey (New York: Harper & 
Brothers, 1961), p. 131. 

13. Luther E. Smith, Jr., Howard Thurman: The Mystic as Prophet 
(Lanham, Maryland: University Press of America, 1982), p. 55. 

14. Henry James Young, editor, God and Human Freedom: A Festschrift 
in Honor of Howard Thurman (Richmond, Indiana: Friends United 
Press, 1983), p. XH. 

15. Howard Thurman, With Head and Heart (San Diego, New York, 
and London: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1979), p. 259-260. 

16. Henry James Young, editor, God and Human Freedom: A Festschrift 
in Honor of Howard Thurman (Richmond, Indiana: Friends United 
Press, 1983), p. 163. 

17. Ibid., p. XIV. 

18. Howard Thurman, With Head and Heart (San Diego, New York, 
and London: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1979), p, 259-260. 

19. Studies in Black Gnosticism (Los Angeles: The Aquarian Spiritual 
Center, 1978). 

266 Company of Prophets 


Excerpts from Sepia Magazine reprinted by permission of the African 
American Life and Culture Museum (Dallas, Texas). 

Excerpts from Modem American Spiritualism distributed by Ayer 
Company Publishers, Inc. (Salem, New Hampshire). 

Excerpts from Fannie Bell Chapman: Gospel Singer reprinted by 
permission of the Center for Southern Folklore (Memphis, 

Excerpts from the July 23, 1952 issue of The Christian Century 
reprinted by permission of the Christian Century Foundation 
(Chicago, Illinois), copyright 1952. 

Excerpts from The Commercial Appeal Mid-South Magazine reprinted 
by permission of The Commercial Appeal (Memphis, Tennessee). 

Excerpts from Black Folk Art in America, 1930-1980 by Jane 
Livingston and John Beardsley reprinted by permission of The 
Corcoran Gallery of Art (Washington, D.C.). 

Excerpts from Psychic Piano Music from the Masters reprinted by 
permission of Carnette Archive Recordings (Seattle, Washington). 

Excerpts from Divine Light Meditation and Spiritual Meditation 
reprinted by permission of Master Walter Thomas (Chicago, 

Excerpts from Psychic City: Chicago by Brad Steiger reprinted by 
permission of Doubleday Dell Publishing Group, Inc. (New York, 
New York). 

Excerpts from The Everett Herald reprinted by permission of The 
Everett Herald Publishing Company, Inc. (Everett, Washington). 

Excerpts from God and Human Freedom: A Festschrift in Honor of 

Bibliography, Notes, & Credits 267 

Howard Thurman, edited by Henry James Young, reprinted by 
permission of Friends United Press (Richmond, Indiana). 

Excerpts from Globe reprinted by permission of Globe Communica 
tions, Inc. (Boca Raton, Florida). 

Excerpts from The American Slave, Vol. 3, edited by George Rawick, 
reprinted by permission of Greenwood Publishing Group, Inc. 
(Westport, Connecticut), copyright 1977. 

Excerpts from Dust Tracks on a Road by Zora Neale Hurston, 
copyright 1942 by Zora Neale Hurston, reprinted by permission 
of HarperCollins Publishers (New York, New York). 

Excerpts from Jambalaya: The Natural Woman's Book by Luisah Teish, 
copyright 1989 by Harper & Row, Publishers, Inc., reprinted by 
permission of HarperCollins Publishers (New York, New York). 

Excerpts from The Wayward and the Seeking: A Collection of Writings by 
Jean Toomer, edited by Darwin T. Turner, copyright 1980 by 
Darwin T. Turner and Marjorie Content Toomer, reprinted by 
permission of Howard University Press (Washington, D.C.). 

Excerpts from The Fabled Doctor Jim Jordan by F. Roy Johnson 
reprinted by permission of Margaret Johnson (Murfreesboro, North 

Excerpts from A Colored Woman in a White World by Mary Church 
Terrell reprinted by permission of Ray Langston (Beltsville, 

Excerpts from The Angel That Stands by Me by Allie Light and Irving 
Saraf reprinted by permission of Light-Saraf Films (San Francisco, 

Excerpts from The Lives of Jean Toomer: A Hunger for Wholeness by 
Cynthia Earl Kerman and Richard Eldridge, copyright 1987 by 
Louisiana State University Press, reprinted by permission of 
Louisiana State University Press (Baton Rouge, Louisiana). 

268 Company of Prophets 

Excerpts from The Man Who Talks with the Flowers by Glenn Clark 
reprinted by permission of Macalester Park Publishing Company 
(St. Paul, Minnesota). 

Excerpts from Modern People reprinted by permission of Vincent 
Soreren (Lake Geneva, Illinois). 

Excerpts from Spirit World: Pattern in the Expressive Folk Culture of 
Afro-American New Orleans by Michael P. Smith reprinted by 
permission of the New Orleans Urban Folklife Society (New 
Orleans, Louisiana). 

Excerpts from the New York Amsterdam News reprinted by 
permission of the Amsterdam News Publishing Company (New 
York, New York). 

Excerpts from Black Women in Nineteenth-Century American Life, 
edited by Bert James Lowenberg and Ruth Bogin, copyright 1973 
by The Pennsylvania State University Press, reprinted by 
permission of The Pennsylvania State University Press (University 
Park and London). 

Excerpts from Visions in Stone: The Sculpture of William Edmondson by 
Edmund L, Fuller, copyright 1973 by University of Pittsburgh 
Press, reprinted by permission of the University of Pittsburgh Press 
(Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania). 

Excerpts from Threshold to Tomorrow by Ruth Montgomery, 
copyright 1983 by Ruth Montgomery, reprinted by permission of 
The Putnam Publishing Group (New York, New York). 

Excerpts from The Arizona Daily Star reprinted by permission of The 
Star Publishing Company (Tucson, Arizona). 

Excerpts from William Grant Still and the Fusion of Cultures in 
American Music, edited by Robert Bartlett Haas, reprinted by 
permission of Judith Anne Still (Flagstaff, Arizona). 

Excerpts from In One Lifetime by Verna Arvey reprinted by 
permission of The University of Arkansas Press (Fayetteville, 

Bibliography, Notes, & Credits 269 

Arkansas), copyright 1984. 

Excerpts from. Gifts of Power: The Writings of Rebecca Jackson, Black 
Visionary, Shaker Eldress, edited by Jean McMahon Humez, 
copyright 1981 by The University of Massachusetts Press, 
reprinted by permission of The University of Massachusetts Press 
(Amherst, Massachusetts). 

Excerpts from George Washington Carver: In His Own Words by Gary 
R. Kramer, copyright 1987 by the Curators of the University of 
Missouri, reprinted by permission of the University of Missouri 
Press (Columbia, Missouri). 

Excerpts from No Quittin' Sense by Reverend CC White and Ada 
Morehead Holland reprinted by permission of the University of 
Texas Press (Austin, Texas). 

Excerpts from The Life and Death of Nathan Jean Toomer: An 
Autobiography from The James Weldon Johnson Collection, Beinecke 
Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University reprinted by 
permission of the Yale Committee on Literary Property (New 
Haven, Connecticut). 

Excerpts from Deep Is the Hunger, Disciplines of the Spirit, Meditations 
of the Heart, The Growing Edge, The Inward Journey, and With Head and 
Heart by Howard Thurman reprinted by permission of Anne 
Thurman (San Francisco, California). 

"Declaration of Principles" reprinted by permission of The National 
Spiritualist Association of Churches, U.S.A. (Casadaga, Florida). 

Excerpts from George Washington Carver: Scientist and Symbol by 
Linda O. McMurry reprinted by permission of Oxford University 
Press (New York, New York). 

Excerpts from Exile into Being by Jean Toomer from the Yale 
Collection of American Literature, Beinecke Rare Book and 
Manuscript Library, Yale University reprinted by permission of the 
Yale University Library (New Haven, Connecticut). 

270 Company of Prophets 

Excerpts from The Times-Picayune reprinted by permission of The 
Times-Picayune Publishing Corporation (New Orleans, Louisiana). 

Excerpts from Howard Thurman: The Mystic as Prophet by Luther E. 
Smith, Jr. reprinted by permission of University Press of America 
(Lanham, Maryland). 

Excerpts from Studies in Black Gnosticism reprinted by permission of 
Alfred Ligon (Los Angeles, California). 

Excerpts from the playbill of Voyages reprinted by permission of 
Kim McMillion. 


The author wishes to acknowledge the following individuals for 
granting permission to reprint their photographs: 

Eddie Cabral, Los Angeles, California. His artwork, "Buddha on My 
Mind/ 7 

Noelle Hoeppe, New York, New York. Photograph of Alpha 

Affle Light and Irving Saraf, San Francisco, California. Photographs 
of Minnie Evans and of her paintings from their private collection. 


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